An Evening in Manipal dedicated to floating Candles – Sky Lantern Project

The creativity of man reaches far out to the sky as there are even lanterns so personalized. In prints or the colors it flaunts. Photo Courtesy: Jinto Cyriac

“The night has a thousand eyes, and the day but one; Yet the light of the bright world dies with the dying sun. The mind has a thousand eyes, and the heart but one; yet the light of a whole life dies when love is done.”

Francis William Bourdillon

It was a beautiful evening.

No ominous rain clouds, not unduly hot and humid, and a very promising event ahead.

When I reached End-Point, frankly, I was simply shocked by the crowd that has assembled there.

There was a queue! With a perpetual aversion to queues, I almost made up my mind to walk away from there, sit down in Paratha Point, finish dinner and head back. Oh Boy! Am I glad I did not follow up on that train of thought.

It was well-organized despite the huge crowd pouring in.

Sky lantern Vikas1
They are called Sky Lanterns or in Chinese known as Kongming Lantern originated in a few Asian Cultures.
Photo Courtesy: Vikas Arora

The magic began even before I reached the field itself. From a distance I could see what seemed like  a sea of bobbing lights stretched out, and as the first few waves of lanterns took off… the view was mesmerizing. It was like a naval exercise with the first rows taking off , almost coinciding with a geese V-flight pattern, closely followed on their heels by the successive rows… within a matter of seconds the sky was draped with  a glittery royal gown of the most delightful colours, and how its flowed and rustled.

30 nostalgic photos of manipal 1997 to 2001
It wouldn’t harm anyone to believe that wishes may come true once you have set a sky lantern free to the sky. It gives hope.
Photo Courtesy: Vikas Arora

The sight was one of those that , similar to an experience of Swami Vivekananda, could put you in a hypnotic  trance.  Wave after wave of lights gently, slowly, quietly taking flight and studding the vast sky with a warm inviting glow.

Sky lantern Vikas 41
It has been said that Sky Lanterns started a hundred years ago during the time when armies used them as signal devices and had been adopted by folks to use in conveying their wishes to the heavens.
Photo Courtesy: Vikas Arora

The lanterns appeared like thousands of floating candles in the sky, shining  in a bid to spread the message of human good, speaking against Child labour and pollution. Initiated by AIESEC Manipal University, this year Manipal celebrated Diwali in an eco friendly and noise free way.  People huddled together lighting up the lanterns, sharing light, sharing laughs and sharing in the sheer feast for the eyes that the moment provided. The energy and enthusiasm as their combined effort bore fruit was what I could take away from the evening.

Sky lantern Vikas 71
There could just be something to look forward to every single day when you have engaged yourself into wishing for something from the Sky Lantern. Students from across the world participated in the event at End Point Manipal.
Photo Courtesy: Vikas Arora

Every year AIESEC Manipal takes an initiative for implementing some different ways to celebrate the festival of lights in the least harmful way. And this year it is with sky lanterns.
Sky lanterns are basically air borne paper lanterns.

Sky lantern Diwali 2012 0012
It’s just so good to capture these moments and such an amazing view of these lanterns.
Photo Courtesy: Sambit Mohanty

The main reason behind initiating sky lanterns is because of the increasing pollution and due to that the environmental fluctuations which we are facing everyday in our day to day lives and the amount of noise pollution and air pollution produced by bursting crackers in Diwali is immense so in order to reduce the amount of pollution AIESEC Manipal has organised as the event Sky lantern Project.  The other reason behind this project is Child labour. There are lakhs of children bellow the age of 14 years who are involved in these fireworks factories in producing the crackers. These children work for 12 hours a day and are exposed to harmful chemicals which causes bronchi diseases and inspite of all this they are just paid 20 rupees a day and the reason behind this is poverty and illiteracy.

Sky lantern Jinto1
Each time you get to click on your camera, there is something that’s captured and when it’s as beautiful as this, it’s just so rewarding!
Photo Courtesy:Jinto Cyriac
Sky lantern Jinto 3
The creativity of man reaches far out to the sky as there are even lanterns so personalized. In prints or the colors it flaunts.
Photo Courtesy: Jinto Cyriac
Sky lantern Jinto 2
An event to fly sky lanterns isn’t as easy to plan but with willing hearts and artistic minds, it may just go as smoothly as dreamed.
Photo Courtesy: Jinto Cyriac

In order to bring change in the lives of these unfortunates, Rakesh Vanka a film maker by passion, a humanist by ideals, an entrepreneur by profession. He came up with the Idea of burning sky lanterns on Diwali in India. Rakesh Vanka broke the Guinness World Record of Indonesia set in 2009 by releasing maximum number of sky lanterns in the sky at once. The man sees this as a revenue generator for the charitable activity of Vanka Foundation (formerly Lakshmi Vanka Charitable school) which is educating 2486 children who were rescued from bonded labour from the districts of East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. And AIESEC has joined hands for their cause and has decided that the money raised from this event will go in the welfare of child labours in the firework factories of Sivakasi (firework capital of our country).


Sky lantern Vikas 6
As the lanterns race to the skies, indeed it touches the heart as they take wishes and thoughts with them.
Photo Courtesy: Vikas Arora
Sky lantern Vikas 3
Sky lanterns have become so popular to children and even at carnivals for being such a good attraction.
Photo Courtesy: Vikas Arora

A very commendable effort and an evening well-spent.

This article is co-authored by Sambit Mohanty and Dr. Vishaal Bhat.
Pictures provided by Vikas Arora (student at MIT, Manipal)
and Jinto Cyriac (1st year student at TAPMI, Manipal).

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.