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Insurance Cover For Lord Ganesh Goes up This Ganeshotsav

Many Ganeshotsav Mandals Opt for Higher Insurance Cover

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: Ganeshotsav, beginning on Wednesday, will be celebrated with great jubilation, following relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions, the major Ganeshotsav Mandals are obtaining higher insurance cover to secure the idols, ornaments, and costly decorative material, this year.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of Lord Ganesh (the elephant-headed god) to earth from Mount Kailash, with his mother Goddess Parvati. The festival is marked with the installation of Ganesh idols in private homes and publicly. The idols are immersed in water on the 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 11th days.

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The tradition of public celebration of the festival was started by the great Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak in 1893 in Maharashtra to organise people to raise voices against the then British regime.

The festival is celebrated across the country, especially in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. The temporary stages are set up by various groups (Mandals) celebrating the festival publicly. In Mumbai alone, over 1.5 lakh idols are installed.

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The number of idols installed across Maharashtra runs in multiples. The prayers are offered twice a day and Prasad is distributed to the community as part of the festival.

This year, in Mumbai the GSB Seva Mandal (GSBSM) (established in 1951), located at King Circle in Central Mumbai, tops the list with the insurance cover of Rs 316.40 crore for 5 day-long celebrations.

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The students of Dr Yashavantrao Dode World School with Ganesh idols sculpted by them
Photo credit: DYDWS

The policy covers the 66.5 kg of gold and 330 kg of silver offered to Lord Ganesh. Every single natural calamity, disaster, Pandal, jewellery of the Lord, staff, devotees, and equipment are covered, GSBSM Vice Chairman Raghavendra Bhat told the Transcontinental Times.

The insurance cover was around Rs 289 crore two years back. However this year we have obtained higher insurance cover due to technical inputs such as QR code scanning for prasad, puja, etc.

We allow the puja and darshan round the clock. The policy will cover accidents, medical treatment etc. In case of a tragedy or loss of life, there is a cover of Rs 10 lakhs per person, Bhat added.

The GSBSM Ganesh is studded with costly ornaments and is considered the richest Mandal in Mumbai. Most of the others have taken higher insurance cover or have increased the safety measures they deployed. The Mandal at Ram Mandir at Wadala in Central Mumbai has obtained the insurance cover of Rs. 250 crore

The famed Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal in South Mumbai has taken the insurance policy of Rs. 25.16 crore, which includes the cover of Rs. 6.13 crore for the Ganesh idol, Balasaheb Kamble, President Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal said.

The Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti’s “Andhericha Raja’ is a major Mandal in suburban Mumbai, drawing lakhs of devotees. The smaller-sized pooja idol is immersed in “Anant Chaturdashi” (the last day of the festival) and the giant-size idol is immersed in “Sankashti”, 5 days after that. Although Samiti is yet to decide on the insurance cover, it is in the process of enhancing security, Samiti’s Chief Adviser Shailesh Phanse said.

The BMC has granted permissions to 1500 Mandals as against 2600 applications it received. The permission is given based on clearances from the departments including the Fire Brigade and police. As the Ganesh Chaturthi is hardly three days away (August 31), it may clear a few more applications by that date.

Eco-friendly Ganesh

In the meanwhile in keeping with an appeal to install eco-friendly Ganesh idols, a workshop was organized by the Dr Yashavantrao Dode World School (DYDWS) located at Mulund in North East Mumbai to train the students in idol-making under the guidance of the art teacher Arti Sharma. The Principals Shweta Dode and Piyush Dhara Saran coordinated the workshop.

Nearly 200 students (First to Xth class) sculpted Ganesh idols ( one foot in height) using the “Shadu clay”, which is air-dry clay, soft and can be used for sculptures and other artwork. The students will install these idols in their homes and will immerse them at the end of the festival in the artificial ponds.

Besides emphasizing making Eco-friendly Ganesh idols, preparing future idol-makers was the aim behind organizing the workshop, Trustee Rajesh Dode said. The idols made of Plaster of Paris do not dissolve in water and resurface in disfigured form, leading to water pollution and disturbing the social atmosphere. We try to imbibe upon our students to inculcate habits of avoiding sound, air, and water pollution, Dode added.

Also Read: The Ganesh Festival Begins On A Subdued Note

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  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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