Mumbai city’s iconic ‘Lalbaughcha Raja’ Ganesh Festival will be canceled this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. This will be the first time the festival will be halted since it began 84 years ago.
The organizers of the biggest Ganesh Festival in Mumbai city announced that the festival will be canceled for the first time in 84 years. They also announced that they will be conducting a blood and plasma donation camp instead. The secretary of the Lalbaug Ganesh Mumbai, Sudhir Salvi said that they would not keep an idol this year as people would rush to see it.
Maharashtra is the worst-affected state in the country due to COVID-19 as it alone has reported 1,74,761 confirmed cases as of Wednesday morning. The city of Mumbai accounts for 77,658 of these cases. The death toll in Mumbai city is 4,556.
The biggest festival in the state of Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi will fall on the 22nd of August this year. The festival that spans over 10 days sees devotees bring home-cooked foods to Lord Ganesha and offer their prayers. There will be pandals set up all across the city where different idols of Lord Ganesh will be kept to attract the maximum number of devotees. On the 10th day of the festival, the idol is immersed in any water bodies.
Blood Donation Camp
Secretary Salvi spoke to the media and confirmed the news. He said,
“In those 10 days, we will be organizing a blood donation camp and an awareness camp to promote plasma donation. We will also be facilitating the families of police and army personnel who gave their lives for the country. We are also donating Rs. 25 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Fund for fighting the pandemic.”
According to the daily Mumbai Mirror, the plasma donations camp will be set up in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Similarly, another prominent Mandal of the Ganesh festival, the Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal has also decided to cancel the procession for this year. However, they will be placing a four-foot idol this year. There are arrangements of online darshan for people who want to get a glimpse of the god from their homes. Along with that, the Goud Saraswat Brahmin Ganeshotsav has already postponed the festival until February next year.