No gold, silver for Ganesh idol at Mumbai’s richest mandal

  • Badri Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 15, 2015 23:45 IST

Those visiting the Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Seva Mandal in King’s Circle, Matunga this year will not be treated to a grand idol jewelled with gold and silver ornaments.

The GSB Seva Mandal, one of the richest in the city, has decided not to go for gold and silver ornaments for the idol this year.

The decision is in light of the appeal made by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and charity commissioner of Ganesh mandals Shashikant Savale to save on expenses keeping in mind the situation of the state’s drought-hit farmers.

In 2014, the GSB had last year offered a 14-foot garland worth Rs96 lakh. The garland, called ‘Vaijantimala’, was made in Karnataka with 2.5kg gold and 12kg silver.

“There is a call from mandal members this year to not offer gold or silver to our idol as done last year, keeping in mind the drought at various parts of the state,” said Satish Nayak, trustee, GSB Seva Mandal, King’s Circle.

The mandal does not have a theme this year, added Nayak. “We wanted to keep the celebrations very simple and focus strictly on traditions,” he said.

Last year, the idol was decked with more than 80kg gold, with a multi-crore rupee insurance cover. “This year only the hands, legs and ears have been made of gold,” said Nayak.

The Wadala wing of GSB Seva Mandal said that after 10 days of the festival, a part of the donations of devotees will be given to the CM’s relief fund. “Apart from money, we are collecting food and clothing that would be taken to Marathwada and Vidarbha,” said Ulhas Kamat, GSB Seva Mandal, Wadala.

“We had asked other mandals also to limit expenses and donate part of their collections to the CM’s relief fund. All the mandals will be contributing a total of Rs1 crore for rehabilitating farmers.” said Suresh Sarnobat, secretary, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti.

Meanwhile, the most popular mandal in the city, Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal donated Rs 25 lakh to the CM’s relief fund for drought-hit farmers on Monday at the Sahyadri guest house.

The Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, Andheri, the mandal that is celebrating its 50th year as Andhericharaja will be donating Rs 5 lakh to drought-hit victims. “We will put aside a donation box for drought victims that will be given to the CM’s relief fund,” said said Subodh Chitnis, treasurer of the mandal.

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