Mumbai: Ganesh mandals shrink size of idols, expand health drives | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: Age-old Ganpati mandals that have earned a reputation for large idols amid grand settings, are putting the final touches to their downsized moortis in the run-up to Ganeshotsav, which starts Friday.
A few organisers, including Lalbaugcha Raja and GSB Wadala, which had called off festivities in Covid 2020, have now adapted to the new reality and resumed with small idols. Ganesh Gully in Lalbaug, Tilak Nagar Chembur and Akhil Chandanwadi, Marine Lines, have designed beautiful 4ft moortis with basic decoration. They will eschew large aagman and visarjan processions. Online darshan is arranged for devotees and no prasad shall be distributed.
The 102-year-old Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani will worship the silver sculpture in its office, like it did in 2020. This is the oldest mandal of the Lalbaug-Parel belt and famous for creative large idols and grand palace or temple sets.
The 94-year-old Lalbaug Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav of Ganesh Gully will unveil its idol on the morning of Ganesh Chaturthi. Secretary Swapnil Parab said they are focussing on medical and health programmes rather than full festivity.
Sahyadri Krida Mandal’s festival in Tilak Nagar, Chembur, is celebrating its 46th Ganeshotsav. “Last year, we organised the utsav in our office at Vrindavan Society, instead of our usual venue of Gol Maidan. Our idol’s size was 4ft and we followed all government directions,” said Jaya Shetty, mandal vice-president. “This year too, our moorti is just 4ft in height and we are not seeking any donation from residents… We plan to organise a blood donation camp.” Sahyadri’s idol will be immersed in a floral bedecked artificial pond that has been created on site.
Over in Marine Lines, the Akhil Chandanwadi Ganpati mandal, led by Shiv Sena leader Pandurang Sakpal, has been known for its supersized moortis averaging 15-20 ft. “This year we will install a picturesque 4 ft idol. We have concentrated our efforts on health welfare programmes by arranging for free check-ups for children at SRCC Hospital, Mahalaxmi. We have also conducted eye camps. Our south Mumbai Sena vibhag has vaccinated 25,000 people free of cost already and the next round is scheduled September 16-17,” Sakpal said.


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