If you bring home a Ganesh idol during Ganeshotsav, you could be insured against accidents during the visarjan this year, thanks to the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal.
The mandal’s organisers are working on an insurance cover of Rs15 crore for accidents, natural calamities or terror attacks during visarjan for devotees of all mandals in the city as well as for those who immerse household Ganpatis.
Last year, the organisers had planned an insurance cover for devotees of sarvajanik mandals across the city for visarjan on the tenth day, but this year, they will include all devotees, including those with household idols, and will cover all visarjan days during the festival, including those immersing their idols after one-and-a-half days, five days, seven days and ten days.
The compensation for injuries could be between Rs1 and Rs2 lakh while the compensation in case of death is Rs5 lakh. According to the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS), 1.48 lakh households in the city keep Ganesh idols during the festival.
“We wanted to ensure that all devotees who come for visarjan are insured. We had started the insurance cover for devotees of all mandals last year on the recommendation of the police commissioner, and decided to extend it to all devotees this year,” said Ashok Pawar, chairman of the mandal.
The organisers have taken the insurance cover from United India Insurance for the days of visarjan, and have taken another cover of Rs51 crore for the mandal from All India Assurance. The latter comprises a cover of Rs30 crore for devotees and volunteers in case of accidents during the 10-day festival.
A representative from United India Insurance said the process for finalising the insurance cover was underway.
Residents who keep Ganpati idols had mixed reactions to the scheme. “This will be helpful for residents who immerse their idols on Anant Chaturdashi, as visarjan spots are very crowded that day and accidents could happen,” said Shekhar Kanvinde, a Girgaum resident who keeps an idol for one-anda-half days.
“I do not think it is necessary to get insurance cover for Ganeshotsav. If we are praying to Lord Ganesh, why should we be scared?” said Aruna Joshi, a Kandivli resident, who keeps the idol at her home for five days.
The civic body will also offer compensation in case of accident or death during visarjan, an initiative it had started last year.