On Ganesh Chaturthi, President Kovind urges people to follow Covid-19 rules
President Kovind's message came as Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations will be muted this year as well and several governments have imposed restrictions, asking people to celebrate the 10-day festival at home.
As the festivities for Ganesh Chaturthi began from Friday, President Ram Nath Kovind wished people on the occasion and urged everyone to follow Covid-19 protocols, which have been put in place across the country. “Ganpati Bappa Morya! Warm wishes to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. I wish that Vighnaharta Ganesha makes our efforts against Covid-19 successful and blesses everyone with happiness and peace,” President Kovind said in a tweet in Hindi. “Come, let us all follow Covid rules while celebrating the festival,” the President also said.
The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival will be observed with less pomp amid Covid-19 restrictions and protocols, especially in Maharashtra, with experts urging caution against public celebrations. Last year too the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to large-scale celebrations in many parts of the country.
In Mumbai, where Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the biggest celebrations of the year, the police on Thursday imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the city from September 10 to 19 to curb the public celebrations in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Mumbai Police have said that more than five people can't gather at a place and no processions of Ganpati will be allowed. Devotees in Mumbai will have to take the darshan of Lord Ganesha online and they cannot visit pandals across the city.
"It's an important festival for us. We were not able to celebrate last year, so this time we're very excited. We are taking all precautions," a Mumbai resident told news agency ANI.
Ravindra Shisve, the joint commissioner of the Pune City Police, said on Thursday that all Ganesh mandals will immerse the idols at their pandals and people can use 'mobile visarjan' vans. In Andhra Pradesh, the state government has decided not to allow Ganesh pandals and immersion processions this year due to Covid-19.
The Telangana High Court directed the state government not to allow idols of Lord Ganesh, made from plaster of Paris, to be immersed in the Hussainsagar lake in Hyderabad. The court has also asked the state government to construct special rubber dams for the immersion of eco-friendly idols.
The Karnataka government has also released the guidelines for Ganesh Chaturthi allowing celebrations only in districts where the Covid-19 positivity rate is less than 2 per cent. "Only eco-friendly Ganapati idols are allowed. Not more than 4 feet tall Ganesha idol should be installed anywhere in the state. Not more than 2 feet tall Ganesha idol allowed to be installed inside homes. No processions are allowed. Immersion is only allowed in mobile immersion tanks, tubs,” it said.
The Uttar Pradesh government also advised people to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at home and not install idols in public places. "All Covid-19 protocols should be followed during the celebrations," the government said.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival marking the birth of Ganesh, the god of prosperity and wisdom. It begins on the fourth day of the chaturthi of the month of Bhadra, the sixth month of the Hindu calendar.
(With ANI inputs)