Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti issued guidelines to more than 11,000 Ganesh Mandals in the city
Mumbai: Ganeshotsav, the most popular festival in Maharahstra, will be a low-key affair this year due to Covid-19 pandemic. Shorn of processions and decorations, the festival will also see a cap on the height of Ganpati idols, one of the big attractions for devotees.
In view of rising spread of coronavirus, the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) – an umbrella organization of city Ganesh mandals in Mumbai – has already issued guidelines to more than 11,000 Ganesh Mandals in the city asking them to celebrate the festival in a simple and subdued manner.
Giant idols, some measuring up to 25 feet, and decorated pandals have always been the highlight of the festival, which attracts thousands of devotees. However, the BSGSS this year has asked the mandals to curb the height of the idols, preferably made up of clay. It has also appealed them to spend less on pandals, lighting and decoration and instead spend the money on sanitisation and anti-corona activities.
“We have also appealed the big mandals, which are financially capable, not to accept donations. Keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic, the mask and sanitizer have been made compulsory for mandal volunteers. Instead of cultural events, the committee has asked mandals to hold health camps, blood donation camps and public awareness campaigns. The mandals have been asked to immerse the idols in artificial ponds. It was important to issue these guidelines from the safety point of view,” said Narendra Dahibawkar, the president of BSGSS.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the GSB Ganeshotsav Samiti in Wadala has already postponed the celebration to ‘Magh Shudh Chaturthi’ in February next year. The mandal is considered as one of the richest mandals in Mumbai.
The 10-day festival begins on 'Ganesh Chaturthi', which falls on August 22 this year. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday addressed the various Ganesh mandals through a video conference on Thursday. He asked them to set aside the usual celebrations with pomp and gaiety this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and celebrate it with social responsibility.
"There is a need to celebrate the festival in a simple way. Under the 'Mission Begin Again' we have to take every step cautiously. But while doing this, we have to ensure that our culture and traditions should not be affected," Mr Thackeray said.