Schoolchildren and enthusiasts watching the solar eclipse at the district stadium in Hassan on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Prakash Hassan

Schoolchildren and science teachers who gathered to watch the annular solar eclipse created a festive mood at the district stadium in Hassan on Thursday. With special glasses on, they watched the different stages of the eclipse as the experts went on explaining the celestial happening.

Hassan district unit of Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS) had organised the event and invited schoolchildren and skywatchers to be part of the occasion.

The organisers exhibited banners, posters designed to spread awareness on the solar eclipse. The participants were offered breakfast, to negate the practices that discourage having food during the eclipse. The students participated with enthusiasm and many of them were thrilled as it was their first-time experience. Among those gathered many were lensmen, making use of the opportunity to capture the sun.

The members of BGVS had conducted awareness campaign across the district on the annular eclipse for the past one week. The campaign covered nearly 60 schools. Around 15,000 solar filter glasses were distributed among schoolchildren so that they could watch the eclipse.

Ahmed Hagare, a member of BGVS State committee, said he was impressed by the response the event received. “In Hassan, we could see 91.6 pc of the sun covered during the eclipse. More than 1,000 people gathered and they had food with us during the eclipse, opposing the blind beliefs. Schoolchildren enjoyed the event”, he said. BGVS office-bearers H.T. Gururaj, Kantharaj, Kavitha, Jayaprakash and others actively participated in the interaction with students.

However, the movement of the public in the city was low during the eclipse. KSRTC buses were running with fewer passengers. The roads were deserted. There were hardly any customers in hotels. Many eateries were closed till afternoon. “It is all because of a false campaign about the eclipse. We had conducted an awareness campaign about the eclipse. But, many people still believe in blind practices”, opined Ahmed Hagare.

Hundreds of enthusiasts, mainly students, across the district witnessed the annular solar eclipse on Thursday while the majority of the people preferred to remain indoors/take dips in Cauvery and Hemavati rivers.

The Bal Bhavan in the town and many schools at different parts of the district made arrangements for watching the eclipse. They distributed/sold solar eclipse goggles and special-purpose solar filters to watch the rare event.

People in many parts of Mandya, Malavalli, Maddur and Nagamangala taluks could not see the formation of ‘ring of fire’ during the eclipse as clouds covered the sun.

Meanwhile, a majority of the people remained indoors and most of the shops were closed in the district on account of the eclipse. Hundreds of people visited Srirangapatna, took holy dips and later performed pujas at Sri Nimishambha temple and other temples.

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Printable version | Dec 27, 2019 5:00:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/schoolchildren-were-thrilled/article30403608.ece

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