The most iconic Ganesh temple in the city has not been an active contributor to the 10-day Ganpati celebrations so far, but that will change this season.
For the first time, the Siddhivinayak Temple Trust has decided to sponsor some services and attractions for the festival, and hopes to participate in a bigger way next year.
“We will organise food and snacks for the National Cadet Corps (NCC) volunteers and lifeguards who are on duty at the beaches on Gauri visarjan and the final immersion day,” said Subhash Mayekar, chairman of the Trust.
Earlier, this service has been provided by various non-profit organisations.
Siddhivinayak will also distribute over 5,000 Ganpati flags to big mandals across the city.
“These are flags carrying the symbol of the mushak (the mouse that the elephant-god rides on), and are supposed to be hoisted above every pandal,” said Mayekar. The trust already has 2,000 flags ready to be distributed, and will have the others stitched soon.
On the last day of the festival, the trust will set up a small Ganesh souvenir stall at Girgaum Chowpatty, stocked with miniature idols for foreign visitors coming to see the immersion.
“This is Mumbai’s biggest festival put together with the efforts of so many organisations and civic departments. I felt that our biggest Ganesh temple must participate as well,” said Naresh Dahibawkar, president of the Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, the festival’s central co-ordinating committee.
This is the first time that Siddhivinayak has been approached by the Samiti for help, and the Temple jumped at the opportunity. “Next year we will do something more,” said Mayekar.
Many Ganpati mandals in the city have also marked their appreciation for the temple’s initiative.
“Siddhivinayak is a temple that so many of us visit every Tuesday. Their involvement with the festival is very good news,” said Namdev Patkar, a member of the Abhyudaya Nagar Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal at Kalachowkie.