By M.T. Yogesh Kumar
A calendar is a system of organising days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A calendar is also a physical record of such a system. Everyone looks into a calendar at one point of time or other or on a day-to-day basis and as such a beautifully designed calendar gathers viewer attention. That’s the reason why calendars are designed aesthetically so that they can grab eyeballs. Calendars are also tools to drive a powerful social message.
This Weekend Star Supplement brings to light three calendars that carry social messages, women empowerment being one of them. Take a look and have a date.
Dear Calendar, find my Date…
Heady blend of modernity and desi elements
According to a conservative estimate, there are about 40 calendars used in the world today, particularly to determine religious dates. Most modern countries, including us, use Gregorian calendar for official activities/ purposes. The Gregorian calendar is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth’s revolution around the Sun.
Every New Year introduces us to a variety of colourful calendars that flood the market, to find the most prominent slot on the wall or on the table. Here is a Mysurean who has designed a unique smart calendar, which provides information about 101 freedom fighters and nine great personalities.
Meet S.V. Vatsala, an architect and social worker by profession, who has designed this unique calendar. She says it all started when she thought about donating the much-needed sanitary napkin dispensers to Government schools and colleges as well as an Ashram working for special children. She came up with the idea of designing a unique calendar and use the money garnered from sales of calendar for buying sanitary napkin dispensers. Pavaki Educations, Mysuru came forward to assist Vatsala in this noble cause.
The calendar that Vatsala has designed is a fascinating blend of modernity and desi elements. And it also provides interesting information regarding 101 freedom fighters including Veer Savarkar, Swami Vivekananda, Rani Abbakka, erstwhile kings of Mysore and Kundapura Umabai as well as nine great personalities including Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa and Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade and others.
Many interesting and thought-provoking topics not normally found in textbooks find a mention here in this unique calendar. All one needs to do is scan the ‘QR Code’ on the calendar and the relevant information related to that particular freedom fighter is displayed on the mobile phone.
Most of us think that the present tricolour flag of India was first hoisted in 1947. No. As per the information provided in this calendar, the first national flag in India was hoisted in 1906 in Calcutta, now Kolkata. With a lot of efforts, Vatsala has gathered all this information, including four major websites, about history of India’s freedom struggle and has featured that information in the calendar.
This unique smart calendar costs Rs. 180. After buying the table-top calendar, one can scan the QR code printed on the calendar and read all the information related to 101 freedom fighters and nine great personalities on the mobile phone in smart format. If your mobile phone does not have a scanner, one can download a QR code scanner from Play Store and scan the QR code printed on the calendar to avail the features.
“All proceeds from the sale of the calendars will go towards fundraising efforts to provide basic facilities for an ashram working for special children as well as a Government School and College for girls. She is doing a commendable job of educating people about our freedom fighters through smart calendar. We are supporting this noble cause,” says Mithuna Gowramma, Founder, Pavaki Educations.
[Contact 78297-84938 for a calendar]
365 Indian women achievers adorn these pages
Indian women have come a long way. Having broken the proverbial glass ceiling a while back, they are now proving their mettle on the global platform as well. As a tribute to all those women achievers, members of Abhaya Mahila Vedike and Baduku Trust, headquartered in Chikkamagaluru, has brought out only one-of its kind calendar, which features 365 Indian women achievers and their achievements.
Ever since 2005, Abhaya Mahila Vedike is bringing out calendars every year on different themes and topics. In 2018, the theme of the calendar was ‘World Women’ and in 2019, under the title ‘Great Personalities of India,’ the calendar featured life and works of great men and women of India. This year, it features portraits of 365 Indian women achievers born on each day of the year on the calendar and a brief description of their achievement in one line.
The eight-member team of the Trust, including Convenor Dr. Somashekharappa, members Dr. G. Sudha, V. Usha, V. Ashwini, Chaitra, Channakeshava, Nileena Thomas, Harika Gaggara and M.S. Vijayalakshmi have collected the necessary information regarding Indian women achievers, sorted them out according their birth dates and have published the calendar on a standard quality paper in a printing press in Bengaluru. Around 1,200 copies have been published with production cost of Rs. 37,000 and each calendar is priced Rs. 40.
“As we have been publishing our calendar every year, there is a great demand for it. Within a week of publication, we have sold 800 calendars and still we are getting orders,” said one of its members.
This year, the calendar features women achievers who have excelled in art, literature, education and other fields including Medha Patkar, first female teacher of India Savitribai Phule, Indian sprinter from Assam from Hima Das, Gowri Lankesh, Vaidehi, Indian Olympic boxer Mary Kom, Dr. Gangubhai Hangal, Badminton player P.V. Sindhu and others.
“From the last three years, we have been publishing calendars and this year, our calendar features portraits of women achievers and their achievement in one line. We collect funds from our Trust members to publish the calendar. There is a huge demand from school and college teachers for our calendar,” says Dr. G. Sudha, Lecturer, Kollegal.
[Contact 90358-42784 for a calendar]
Vaara, Thithi, Yoga, Nakshatra in Samskruta
Every year, the arrival of a New Year is welcomed with a sense of joy. Different cultures have their own system of accounting time. As a result, their New Year may not correspond with the Gregorian calendar and it may not fall on the first day of January. The diversity in India is unique. Each region in our country has a distinct cultural identity and plethora of festivals is celebrated on different time of the year. While some festivals are for welcoming the harvest season or the triumph of good over evil, some are merely held to initiate trade and merry-making.
This year, the only Sanskrit daily in the world, “Sudharma” has brought out a unique calendar, which features most important and culturally significant festivals from different parts of the country as well as and memorable days of poets, musicians, freedom fighters etc. Most of the Indian calendars normally mention just five limbs of Panchanga or Hindu almanac, namely ‘Vaara’ or weekday, ‘Thithi’ or lunar day, ‘Nakshatra’ or stellar mansion in which the moon is located along with ‘Yoga’ and ‘Karana’, which are rarely used nowadays by most of the householders.
The unique feature of Sudharma calendar is that it mentions Jayanthi and Punya Dina or Aradhana Mahotsava of popular personalities including Tyagaraja, Purandaradasa, Kalidasa, Tulasi Das, Ramana Maharshi, and Suttur Shivarathrishwara Swamiji and so on.
The calendar also quotes Subhaashitas (epigrammatic poems and their message is an aphorism, maxim, advice, fact, truth, lesson or riddle) as relevant to the occasion. For example, as Hemanta Ritu or early winter began this month, a Subhaashita about season of Hemanta finds a place here in this calendar. Similarly, on the occasion of Ratha Saptami, an auspicious festival celebrated by Hindus and dedicated to Sun God Surya, the calendar briefly mentions about journey of Sun God on his new chariot towards the northern hemisphere.
While we all know about Sharan- Navaratri, also known as Dasara, this calendar mentions Shakambari Navratri, which was celebrated recently in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10, in the holy month of Paush. Also, Jayanthi or birthday of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Veer Savarkar, Bipin Chandra Pal and Guru Gobind Singh along with poet Kalidasa Divas finds a mention in this calendar.
[Contact 0821-2442835 for a copy]