Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) : Last week was a very important week for the Indian community. In Melbourne we celebrated three prominent online festivals: Navratri, Bathukamma and Vijayadashami, also known as Dussehra. Point Cook Royals, a community organisation, provides vital support to senior citizens in my constituency. They celebrated the Navratri garba festival virtually. Navratri is celebrated across India for nine consecutive days. The best part of the event was that not only Gujaratis but many other community members did garba from their home virtually on the best beats selected.
On another note, the Melbourne Telangana Forum located in Braybrook is a not-for-profit organisation and does great work in preserving and promoting the Telugu culture through various activities annually. It was great to join their Bathukamma festival online. Bathukamma represents the cultural spirit of Telangana. ‘Bathukamma’ is a beautiful flower stack. It is the festival for feminine felicitation. It depicts the unity and empowerment of women. This is clearly visible in the big group of female members of this forum.
On a further note, Sewa International Australia is an organisation that also has a presence in my constituency. Sewa International supported the victims of bushfires earlier this year by hosting blood donation camps, tree planting and community clean-up programs and recently assisted international students. Their online celebration of Vijayadashami was enjoyed by many dignitaries.
Dussehra is a festival that signifies the win of good over evil. I am proud of these organisations who do great community work in my constituency.