Fewer idols offered, Covid shadow over Ganesh pageant in Surat

Covid has forged a shadow over Ganesh Chaturthi pageant this yr with the variety of idols offered in Surat falling to round 30,000 — lower than half of the 65,000 idols offered throughout the season within the pre-pandemic instances, pageant organisers mentioned.

In accordance with Surat metropolis Ganesh Utsav Samiti president Anil Biscuitwala, the principle purpose is the delay in taking determination to have a good time the pageant for 9 days. “Many idol makers from different states had not come. Individuals had determined to have a good time at their properties in view of Covid pandemic as the choice of nine-day celebrations got here late.”

The Ganesh Chaturti pageant begins on September 10 this yr. In 2020, the pageant was a low-key affair in Surat, as a result of Covid pandemic. This yr additionally individuals had been sceptical over authorities permission for celebrations. The federal government lastly gave the go-ahead on August 25.

As per the federal government tips, the Ganesh idol shouldn’t be greater than 4 ft and enormous crowds ought to be averted.
On the immersion day following 9 days of puja, solely 5 individuals can be allowed to hold the idol within the automobile and with none procession.

The Surat Municipal Company is making ready round 16 synthetic ponds for the immersion of idols, as immersion within the Tapi river has been banned.

With these restrictions, many mandals haven’t utilized for permission to erect pandals and as an alternative, have selected celebrations at dwelling.

Biscuitwala mentioned, “There are 7,500 mandals registered with us, of which this yr solely 2,500 have sought permission for pandals. We have now instructed them to observe Covid protocol strictly.”

“This yr, extra persons are opting to have a good time at dwelling, as an alternative of public celebrations and we admire it. Individuals are complying with the enchantment of the state authorities.”

Shree Ganesh Murtikar Welfare Affiliation president Sanjay Elkar mentioned, “This yr we’re in need of fingers and we couldn’t meet the demand. It takes extra time to make mud idols. As a result of scarcity of idols, the costs have gone as much as Rs 5,000 for two-foot idols and over Rs 15,000 for four-foot idols. It’s tough to get idols from Maharashtra as Covid instances are excessive there.”

Nitin Suchak, a lawyer by occupation and resident of Bhagwan Park Society in Adajan space, appealed to the society members to have a good time the festivals at dwelling.

Speaking to the Indian Categorical, Nitin Suchak mentioned, “Earlier there have been 4 pandals in our residential society comprising of 52 homes, however this yr we have now deliberate micro-level celebrations. We have now suggested society individuals to carry small idols and maintain it at their properties and have a good time. We won’t make a pandal however we’ll maintain the two ft idol of Ganesh within the parking space.”

In view of the Covid pandemic, the society has banned aged individuals from taking part in aarti, he mentioned, including, “Just one member from a home can be allowed to take part in aarti in odd and even numbers of bungalows. Volunteers will carry aarti to every home within the morning and night. The idol can be immersed in a man-made pond within the widespread open plot within the society.”

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