Three Ganesh mandals in Mumbai have been recognised by the Brihanmumbai Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, the umbrella body of Ganesh mandals in the city, for following rules on idol height, cleanliness and safety measures for devotees.
Dharavi’s Shree Hanuman Seva Mandal, Datta Raul Maidan Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Dadar, and Nav Prakash Tarun Mitra Mandal, Mahim, followed the norms prescribed by the Samiti before the festival. “All these mandals have made sure that the height of the idol was below 18 feet, the idols were made from materials like shadu clay or paper [that are less damaging to the environment], adequate lighting for safety of devotees and cleanliness,” said Suresh Sarnobat, secretary, Brihanmumbai Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti.
Five other mandals have also been named for their charitable activities during and after the festival — Lalbaugcha Raja, Mumbaicha Raja (Ganesh Galli), Kalachowki’s Abhyudaya Nagar, Parlacha Peshwa (Vile Parle) and Prabodhan Thakre Udhyan (Sewri cha Raja).
Naresh Dahibhawkar, president, Brihanmumbai Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti told HT that the biggest mandals are also the most respected ones as the sense of responsibility is seen year after year. “The manner in which long queues have been regulated with facilities like food, water and washrooms is commendable. The mandals have been conducting various health and awareness camps throughout the year as opposed to any last minute preparations,” said Dahibhawkar.
* Datta Raul Maidan Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Dadar
Made their pandal this year resembling the Venkateswara temple, Tirumala at Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh
Within the pandal, a six-foot Tirupati Balaji idol can be seen, followed by a nine-foot Ganesh idol made from shadu clay. “Every year, we try to replicate religious spots from around the country,” said Dinkar Paradhi, vice-president of the mandal. “All members of the mandal, starting from the president to the mandal workers, clean the area every morning”
Paradhi said only the required number of lights was placed around the pandal area. “We did not use extra lights this year. Only enough for people to see clearly see at night,” he said
* Shree Hanuman Seva Mandal, Dharavi
Celebrating its 53rd year, the mandal at Dharavi had a five-foot idol made from shadu clay this year. The theme was based on the teachings of independence activist Bal Gangadhar Tilak, with all decorations being made out of paper
“Keeping in mind the number of farmer suicides and the drought situation in Maharashtra, we had a simple theme through which people could educate themselves,” said Pramod Khade, secretary of the mandal
Khade said only 10 halogen lights were used this time, along with lights placed along the walkway to the pandal. “We distributed 1,000 garbage bins to those residing in the area. We also cleared water-logged areas in the vicinity of the pandal, keeping in mind the dengue cases in the city,” he said
* Nav Prakash Tarun Mitra Mandal, Mahim
Also known as Mahimcha Maharaja, the pandal, which is located at a police colony in Mahim, celebrated its 37th year. The pandal resembled a palace that housed an 11-foot Ganesh idol. Of the 12 members of the mandal, six are policemen.
“We conducted various health camps and competitions over the 10 days of the festival. We concentrated on keeping noise levels at bay throughout the festival, conducted clean-up drives twice a day,” said Sujitkumar Hodage, member of the mandal