As COVID-19 pandemic engulfed Mumbai, it seems not only humans, but even gods are now wearing masks. As Maharashtra continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged Ganesh mandals across the state to celebrate the upcoming Ganesh Charuthi festival with simplicity and keep it low-key, stating that there should be no gathering and processions. Mumbai is still battling heavily with COVID-19 cases and in such circumstances, people should follow the norms and keep safe.
To pass this message loud and clear, many Ganesha Idols would be wearing masks this year. Borivali East, Navghar Ganesh Pandal told Afternoon Voice, “If people see Idol wearing mask, it will give them a reminder that they cannot take the situation at ease, its way of spreading message”.
On the other hand, Mira Road station Ganesha would be arriving crushing the corona under its feet. This year Ganesh pandals across Mumbai would be adopting various themes related to the ongoing pandemic. As far as gathering is concerned, people would be scanning and taking safety measures before they seek darshan. Maharashtra has the highest burden of Covid-19 cases in India with over 1.13 lakh confirmed cases. As Ganeshotsav, is among Maharashtra’s most popular festivals, it will still be celebrated this August but may be devoid of its usual pomp.
“It is true that the festival will not be celebrated with much fanfare this year. Since the threat from coronavirus is not yet over, there will be no crowds and no processions. We will have to take all precautions and celebrate the festival in a very simple way”, said Thackeray, who held a review meeting on video conference on the law and order situation during upcoming Ganesh festival. Thackeray said everyone needs to think of how the festival can be celebrated more simply. “We have started ‘Mission Begin Again’ in the state. So, we will have to take all the steps cautiously. We will take care that the Ganesh festival tradition is not broken under any condition but we will also have to remember social responsibility. We should celebrate the festival in such a way that will set an example before the world”, said the chief minister further urging Ganesh mandals to exercise caution and cooperate with the government.
The 10-day festival will begin from August 22 this year. Thackeray also thanked Ganesh mandals from Pune and other places who have decided to celebrate the festival in a low-key manner. He also thanked them for their contribution to the Chief Minister Relief Fund and for organizing various social initiatives.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, senior bureaucrats, police officials and representatives of various Ganesh mandals.