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September 2, 2010

Pune girls beat dhols ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festival

Pune: Enthusiastic young girls have joined boys in practicing the beating of Dhols in Pune, ahead of the popular Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The girls said they were upbeat about outsmarting their male counterparts during the procession of Ganesha idols. "We are playing for God, and when people watch us playing on roads, and when we do this unique act, it makes me happy. The number of girls are more, and I feel very happy," said Anagha, a young female Dhol player. The weight of a Dhol is around six to seven kilograms, and it is tied around the waist. With a few days left for the festival, the girls are practicing daily for three hours to improve their stamina. "Daily we come here at five in the evening and return home at nine in the night. We practice for two to three hours because during Ganesha Chaturthi we have to play the whole day, for which we need to develop stamina," said Gayatri, Dhol player. The President of the Shivamudra Dhol (drum) Group, Vinayak Deshpande, said he did not find any difference between the spirit of the boys and the girls when beating drums. "The girls practice with boys and their stamina is same as that of the boys," said Deshpande. This year, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi falls on September 11. This festival is celebrated in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, as well as western Gujarat and Maharashtra , where hundreds of thousands of idols are moulded for worship.

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