New Delhi: A new web-application which allows people to light a virtual diya at the homes of their loved ones has become a popular way of wishing happy Diwali, especially among non-resident Indians (NRIs).
"This is a new - and fast-growing concept wherein you light an online diya (lamp) through Google Maps and then also send greetings through e-mail or Facebook," Cania Dey, editor of nrimatters.com, the website which has developed the application, told reporters.
The application is called Festival of Lights. Diwali falls Oct 26 this year.
"You can simply type the address of a recipient`s location in the search bar to reach the destination where you want to place the diya. You zoom into the exact location to place the virtual diya. You can also send a personal message thereafter," Dey said.
Dey attributes the fast growing popularity of the application with NRIs to not just the unique concept of lighting an online diya at the exact location but also the joy of greeting, the nostalgia factor and homesickness among people away from home.
"Unlike e-cards or sending SMS messages, this application is a more personalised way of greeting your friends and relatives as it allows people to light a diya at any location across the globe. It has that sentiment and tradition attached to it," said Dey.
The application also features a greetings section through which the users can send wishes through e-mail or Facebook. Over 2,200 diyas have already been lit and Dey expects this number to go up.
"We have a total of 14,000 subscribed users of our website and till now 2,235 diyas have been lit and we expect this number to go up, as anyone can use this free application from our website," Dey said.
One can see thousands of greetings sent by NRIs back home on the map page of the application, which is sponsored by Kotak Mahindra Bank.
"Diwali is by far the biggest festival for NRIs living all over the world and this application is a perfect opportunity to both to celebrate the Diwali spirit and spread it among family and friends," said Sunita who lives in Stockholm.