While people wait with bated breath for the upcoming Ganeshotsav, politicians too are planning to make the most of the festival and Ganesh mandals are expecting to benefit from this. With an eye on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections scheduled in 2017, the donations and sponsorships for the mandals is expected to rise substantially this year.
Naresh Dahibavkar, head of Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshostsav Samanvay Samiti, the umbrella organisation of mandals, said he is expecting a 60% rise in sponsorships and advertisements at pandals.
This applies to pandals big or small. Girish Walawalkar, a member of Bal Mitra Mandal in Grant Road, said though their pandal was not very well known, sponsors approach them every year. “We get between Rs5-7 lakh worth sponsorship every year. This year we are expecting around a 50% increase in it,” Walawalkar said while adding that inflation is also responsible for the increase in their expenditure. “The sponsorship amount is increasing because the market rates are also increasing,” he said.
Uday Salian, who takes care of advertisements and sponsorships at Andhericha Raja, a popular pandal in Azad Nagar, Andheri (West), said, “Last year was our 50th year, so naturally we got more response. We got, just from sponsorships, around Rs80 lakh. This year, we expect less than that, but yet more than usual.”
Also, hoardings at venues are a big source of income for pandals. “Every mandal, small or big, earns around 40% of their income by advertisements,” said Dahibavkar.
This year, the pandals are planning to use new kinds of advertisement techniques. “Banner and hoarding advertisements are redundant now. And since this year, the security issues are of prime importance, there are some places where sponsors would place LED television sets which would show live ‘darshan’ as well as spread awareness about traffic and security,” Dahibavkar added.
Although, there are some mandals that are not so ecstatic about revenues. Secretary of Kastur Park Mitra Mandal in Borivali, Shivraj Ghatge, said they have to approach sponsors for funds. “We don’t do much of banner advertising. We give out around 3,500 magazines to advertise. We don’t expect a big jump in advertisements but 20% increase in sponsorship is expected, which ultimately keeps pace with rising inflation,” Ghatge said.