Mumbai, A ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival started on Saturday in various parts of Mumbai and Maharashtra amidst Coronavirus epidemic and ongoing restrictions on people movement, although this year the festival lacks traditional fanfare.
Government of Maharashtra has issued guidelines regarding Ganeshotsav and said that no procession should be taken before the life of Lord Ganesha’s idol and its immersion.
The guideline states that the height of the idol of Lord Ganesha has been limited in this year in public pandals and in this house worship. The height of the statue should be a maximum of four feet for the pandals and a maximum of two feet for installation on the houses.
As a result, the number of people buying idols for the life of Ganpati in homes, housing societies and public pandals was limited. The enthusiasm for this festival is relatively low this year due to the epidemic.
Limiting the festival has affected small businesses. These include flower sellers, sweets shop, decoration shops, jewellery shops and transporters etc. The epidemic has affected many others including artists.
However, in some low popular markets like Dadar, for the last two days, a large number of people came and shopped for similar items for decoration and worship etc.
The popular public Ganeshotsav Mandal in Mumbai – Lalbagha Raja – has cancelled the festival in view of the epidemic this year, while the GSB Seva Samiti of Wadala postponed the puja to ‘Megh Shuddh Chaturthi’ in February next year. The GSV Seva Samiti is counted among the richest committees in Mumbai.
Due to the epidemic this year, the decoration of the pandal is not seen as every time and public awareness programs and health camps are being organized instead of cultural programs.
Mumbai and neighbouring areas have been receiving heavy rains for the last few days. The rain continued on Saturday morning but people ‘Ganapati Bappa Moraya’ K went out to take the statue of Ganapati amidst Jayagosh. Fireworks were lit in some areas to welcome God.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also welcomed Lord Ganesha at his official residence ‘Varsha’. Some celebrities and politicians also installed the statue of Lord Ganesha in their homes. The life of God was revered in the traditional way this morning.
Meanwhile, security has been strengthened in the city in view of the festival. Apart from the local police, a company of Rapid Task Force, three companies of SRPF, local armed forces and riot control police have been deployed.
A police spokesperson said that to prevent any untoward incident, Rapid Disaster Force, Bomb Disposal Squad and Anti-Terrorism Cell have also been put on alert. He said that with the help of five thousand CCTV cameras and drones, the police team would monitor the incidents.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is also called Vinayaka Chaturthi. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Ganesha.
(Courtesy- Language PTI)