AURANGABAD: The Jain community of the city celebrated the festival of Mahavir Jayanti with spiritual fervour on Wednesday. Rallies, blood donation camps and other cultural programmes that were held to mark the occasion witnessed the participation of thousands of people from across the city. This year's theme of Mahavir Janm Kalyanak Mahotsav in the city was 'live and let live'. Subsequently, the programmes were designed and presented based on that specific theme. A bike rally with around 800 participants from different parts of the city marked the beginning of the programmes at 6.30am on Wednesday.
The participating riders reached the Mahaveer Stambh at Mahaveer Chowk by 7am, where the five-coloured Jain flag, which represents the five supreme beings and the five main vows of Jainism, was hoisted by Sakal Jain Samaj President Rajendra Darda. At 8.30am, a large procession of people started from the Paithan Gate, which saw tableaux by various different Jain temples and Jain pathshalas in the city. Based on the theme of live and let live, the procession saw displays giving a message on tree plantation and conservation, water conservation, raising home gardens and saving the girl child, among others. Through one of the presentations, an appeal was made to the society to organize weddings with minimum expenses. The display caught the attention of the young and the old alike. The palanquin and chariots from Sankheshwar Parshwanath Jain Temple, Cidco, Godaji Parshwanath Jain Temple, Johriwada and Vimalnath Jain Temple, Jadhav Market were also a part of the community's parade. The office bearers of Jain organizations participated by wearing 'Nehru shirt' of different colours, giving a bright and colourful touch to the procession. Volunteers for the programme had set-up stalls throughout the route, where they were distributing kulfi, buttermilk, chikki and juice to passers-by. A maha prasad was held at the SB College Ground, where the devotees replenished themselves with snack and beverages. As many as 223 people, mostly youngsters, donated blood in a donation camp that was held at the college's ground by the Mahaveer Medical Foundation on Wednesday