Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations start on low-key word, COVID-19 dampens spirit

Mumbai, August 22

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on public motion, the 10-day Ganesh pageant began in Mumbai and different elements of Maharashtra on Saturday, though the standard pomp and glory was lacking this yr.

The Maharashtra authorities has issued tips relating to Ganeshotsav celebrations, saying that processions shouldn’t be taken out earlier than putting in and immersing the idols of the deity.

It additionally stated the heights of Lord Ganesh idols put in by sarvajanik (neighborhood) mandals and at household- degree ought to be restricted to 4 toes and two toes, respectively, this yr.

As a outcome, the variety of individuals popping out available in the market to purchase Ganpati idols for set up of their homes, housing societies and sarvajanik pandals, was restricted. The ordinary spirit and fervour of the pageant was comparatively low this yr.

Due to the subdued celebrations, small companies of that thrive in the course of the pageant, together with flower distributors, candy outlets, shops promoting ornament gadgets, imitation jewelry and transporters took a success.

The pandemic additionally affected a number of others, together with artistes and transporters. However, in some common market locations similar to Dadar in central Mumbai, individuals nonetheless got here out in giant numbers to buy materials required for adornment, puja rituals within the final couple of days.

Lalbaugcha Raja, Mumbai’s best-known sarvajanik Ganeshotsav mandal, cancelled the pageant this yr in view of the pandemic, whereas Wadala’s GSB Sewa Samiti, thought of one of many richest mandals within the metropolis, postponed the celebration to ‘Magh Shudh Chaturthi’ in February subsequent yr.

The ordinary pandal decorations within the metropolis are lacking this yr and cultural occasions have been changed by public consciousness programmes and well being camps by the mandals.

Mumbai and the neighbouring areas have been witnessing heavy rains from the previous few days. The downpour continued on Saturday morning however individuals stepped out to deliver dwelling the idols of the deity amid chants ‘Ganpati bappa moraya’. In some areas, firecrackers have been additionally burst to welcome the Lord.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray additionally welcomed Lord Ganesh at his official residence ‘Varsha’. Some celebrities and political leaders additionally put in the idols at their locations.

The set up of the deity was achieved as per the rituals within the morning.

Meanwhile, safety has been beefed up within the metropolis for the pageant. Apart from the native police, an organization of Rapid Action Force (RAF), three firms of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), native arms and riot management police have been deployed.

Quick response groups, bomb disposal squads and anti-terrorism cells have additionally been placed on alert to stop untoward incidents and police will monitor the happenings within the metropolis with the assistance of 5,000 CCTV cameras and in addition use drones for aerial surveillance, a police official stated.

The pageant of Ganesh Chaturthi is also referred to as Vinayaka Chaturthi, marks the delivery of the elephant-headed God. It begins on the fourth day (chaturthi) of the month of Bhadrapada, the sixth month of the Hindu calendar. It concludes after 10 days on the day of Anant Chaturdashi, when the idol is submerged within the nearest physique of water.

Lord Ganesh is taken into account an embodiment of knowledge and broadly revered because the remover of obstacles. PTI

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