Two days after the city bid farewell to Lord Ganesh, organisers of the GSB Seva Mandal in Wadala auctioned a painting donated by a devotee during Ganeshutsav on Tuesday.
To the organisers’ surprise, the wall painting was sold for Rs2 lakh.
“Our collections over the seven-day celebrations shot up to Rs49 lakh after auctioning the painting. The gold and silver donations, which have been weighed and stored in a bank locker, will be auctioned a year later,” said Satish Naik, a mandal member. The mandal has collected 714 grams of gold and 28 kilograms of silver.
At the Lalbaugcha Raja, the city’s most sought after idol, donations have surpassed other mandals. The mandal will finish evaluating its donations on Thursday. But by Wednesday, the the monetary collection crossed Rs7.5 crore.
Organisers have projected the collection to add up to more than Rs20 crore after the gold and silver donations are auctioned on the weekend.
“We have received diamonds worth Rs6.5 lakh and one kilogram of gold, which will be put up for auction. We have also received stacks of foreign currency notes and a Cartier watch,” said Rajendra Lanjwal, treasurer, Lalbaug Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal.
At the Ganesh Galli Mandal about 1.25 lakh devotees visited the mandal every day, claimed Swapnil Parab, secretary, Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal (Ganesh Galli).
“By the end of the seventh day of the festival, our collections crossed Rs23 lakh, the amount that was collected last year,” said Parab. “The gold and silver bars that have been donated will not be auctioned. Instead, we are planning to create another piece of jewellery for Bappa’s idol next year,” he added. This year, the mandal had created a five-kilogram gold necklace by melting the gold donated by devotees since 1928.
At some mandals, organisers are awaiting the gold donations promised by devotees. “One of our devotees has promised to donate a replica of the Lord’s feet in gold,” said Avadhut Gavandkar, secretary, Girgaum Ganpati Mandal. “We will use the money collected during the festival to fund next year’s Ganeshotsav,” Organisers of Ghatkopar’s Barve Nagar Sarvajanik Mandal are waiting to receive the “golden hand” promised by a devotee.