In keeping with the tradition set by social reformer Lokmanya Tilak of organising a public Ganpati celebration instead of a individual ones, a village in Navi Mumbai township here has set an example of unity by following one village-one Ganpati festival for over 50 years now.
The concept, conceived by a group of residents of Agroli village, was started in 1961 and is still celebrated in the manner as the villagers are in no mood to shift to individual celebrations which have now become a usual practice.
The villagers of Agroli are proud of setting an example by such a practice. The joint celebration of such festivals not only brings villagers together during these ten days but also helps build a stronger bond among them.
“I have seen terrific enthusiasm among the villagers who come together for the festival and this enables me to provide them the best of civic services,” local corporator Saroj Patil said.
She said when the festival was started in the 60s, there were only 20 families in the village. Today there are around 150 families.
The contribution by each family then was Rs. 15, but now due to price rise and the expenses involved, the cost has gone up to Rs. 1,000 per family which the villagers happily contribute, she said.
The collective celebration has numerous benefits like huge expenses by individual households and the time taken for organising the event can be reduced, the Shiv Sena leader said.
About 10-15 families undertake the task to supervise the arrangements on each of the ten days and ensure that the celebrations are grand.
During the ten days, various cultural programmes are organised in which the villagers participate enthusiastically, she said.