‘What About Us?’ As Maha Dims Ganpati Celebrations Resulting from Covid-19, Staff Depending on Competition in Limbo


With the Maharashtra authorities calling for low-key Ganpati celebration this yr in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, livelihood of individuals related to the festivities, which generate a turnover of greater than Rs 70 crore yearly in Mumbai, has been […]

With the Maharashtra authorities calling for low-key Ganpati celebration this yr in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, livelihood of individuals related to the festivities, which generate a turnover of greater than Rs 70 crore yearly in Mumbai, has been adversely affected.

There are some 12,000 Sarvajanik Ganesh mandals right here. In addition to, practically two lakh idols are put in by residents at their houses yearly, Naresh Dahibavkar, president of the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, an umbrella physique coordinating between the civic physique, authorities and Ganesh mandals, informed PTI.

“There’s a small business which works throughout the competition involving flower distributors, electricians, these promoting objects like bamboo for establishing mandaps, these offering transportation services, artisans and plenty of extra,” he mentioned.

“The enterprise turnover throughout the festivities right here is over Rs 70 crore and the federal government additionally will get taxes,” he mentioned, including that the livelihood of these concerned within the celebration-related works can be affected this yr.

Ganeshotsav is the most well-liked competition in Maharashtra. The pandals arrange by varied mandals in Mumbai and different locations within the state appeal to 1000’s of devotees throughout the 10-day competition, which begins on ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’.

This yr, ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ falls on August 22. Through the years, Ganpati celebrations have grown by leaps and bounds because it turned a ‘sarvajanik’ (public) competition greater than a century in the past. In 1896, the plague epidemic solid a shadow on the competition right here. At the moment additionally, the celebrations have been subdued and folks used images of Lord Ganesh on their wall calenders to supply prayers for the reason that idols couldn’t be made, Dahibavkar mentioned.

This yr, within the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, there was a proposal to postpone the competition to February subsequent yr. However, from January 1, 2021, use of Plaster of Paris shall be banned. “What to do with the idols already made?” he mentioned.

In addition to, open areas for establishing pandals are supplied as per excessive court docket order for 12 days a yr. In 2021, open areas won’t obtainable for 24 days (12 days in February and 12 days later throughout Ganesh Chaturthi), he mentioned.

He additionally mentioned after discussions between the federal government and the civic physique, it was determined to cap the peak of Ganesh idols at 4 ft in order that the requirement of individuals to hold the idols for set up and immersion is minimal, he mentioned.

Restricted peak would guarantee immersion at a close-by website, he mentioned, assuring that hygiene protocols can be adopted throughout the competition. In the meantime, idol makers, who’re often a lot in demand within the run as much as the competition yearly, are additionally going through the warmth of the pandemic.

Brihanmumbai Ganesh Murtikar Sangh president Gajanan Tondvalkar mentioned that they had requested the civic physique to permit idols of lower than 5 ft to be made nearly a few months earlier than the precise determination for idols of 4 ft was taken.

“A lot of the employees dwell in tiny houses they usually want open areas for making idols. Not all have their very own house. Now we have been demanding a single window clearance system for establishing mandaps for idol-making. “However, that has not occurred for final 15 years. We want permission from the native police station, site visitors police, setting division, hearth brigade and well being division. This yr these permissions have been waived off. However we received solely 35 days to start out work on the idols,” he mentioned.

Referring to their different issues, together with use of fabric for making idols, Tondvalkar mentioned clay idols take time to dry. “If the permission for open areas is given on time, we are going to make solely clay idols. Due to the time constraints, we won’t full all of the orders this yr,” he rued.

“We received clay from Gujarat in 5 containers. Because of the lockdown, we had problem in getting these autos into town. Would not the situation of Ganesh idol makers matter to the choice makers? Livelihood of lakhs of individuals relies on the Ganesh festivities,” he mentioned.

“First, you waste time in taking determination on the peak of the idols, however do not contemplate the essential facet of offering house. The directions are to observe social distancing norms, and use masks and sanitisers. Find out how to observe social distancing when there are house constraints?” he requested.

Tondvalkar mentioned since they haven’t been supplied areas in open playgrounds, they haven’t any possibility however to work on footpaths and different such locations. As per the brand new pointers, the state authorities has requested residents to worship metallic or marble Ganesh idols at dwelling or set up clay idols of no more than two ft, and carry out immersion at their houses.

Notably, the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Mandal, which installs Mumbai’s most well-known Ganpati idol, earlier this month introduced cancellation of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration this yr in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GSB Ganeshotsav Samiti in Wadala space has already postponed the celebration to ‘Magh Shudh Chaturthi’ in February subsequent yr, a samiti official earlier mentioned.

Dahibavkar mentioned this yr, blood donation, well being camps and public consciousness campaigns on coronavirus shall be held as a substitute of cultural programmes. On-line darshan facility for idols put in at sarvajanik mandals can be made obtainable for devotees, he mentioned, including that mandals have additionally been requested to keep away from ornament and lighting on stage. There are 84 immersion factors in Mumbai and aside from these, extra synthetic ponds shall be created, he mentioned.

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