Inflation has been a major cause for concern for Navratri organisers this year, with several organisers preparing to increase ticket rates to meet the significant jump in expenditures for the festival that begins on October 16.
In fact, the inflationary trend was one of the reasons that the Sankalp Navratri Utsav Mandal, one of the biggest Navratri organisers, decided, for the first time in 18 years, not to host the event.
“One of the main reasons for the decision was Falguni Pathak shifting to another event in the city. Another major reason was that we would have incurred a 50% increase in our total expenditure,” said organiser Devendra Joshi. “Prices for everything have increased this year,” said Joshi.
Several Navratri organisers in the city have seen a jump of 25%- 30% in their total expenditure for the festival. “Though we haven’t fixed the rates for our passes yet, we might have to increase it by Rs100 to Rs150 this time,” said Ganesh Naidu, president, Naidu Club mandal at Borivli’s Kora Kendra. Last year, the club charged Rs3,500 for a season pass.
For organisers of the Ramleela mandal in Malad, the total expenditure has gone up by almost 35%. “Everything is expensive this year, including decorations, rent for the ground, accommodation for artistes and the labour,” said Devkinandan Jindal, trustee, Sri Ramleela Prachar Samiti.
For first-time organisers Mangal Entertainment Private Limited, who have roped in singer Falguni Pathak at their event at Goregaon Sports Club, the rains have played spoilsport.
“We have lost eight hours of work over the last four days owing to the rains, and we had to bring in ten extra workers for each hour lost so as to finish work within the allotted time,” said an organiser. “Financially, we have to bear a 7% loss for every hour that the work was stopped,” he added.
The organiser said the rate for the season pass for the festival will be Rs4,500 while the daily ticket will cost Rs650 and may increase on weekends.