Pune: All prestigious and other important Ganesh mandals in the city have assured the state government, that Ganeshotsav will be celebrated with simplicity this year. In a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, representatives of the Ganesh mandals agreed that this year, processions and tableaux should not be allowed to prevent crowding and thereby curbing the spread of coronavirus in the city.
Amid the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, many religious festivities had to be cancelled. The annual Palkhi pilgrimage of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar was allowed with certain conditions imposed, like avoiding walking the way to Pandharpur and preventing people to assemble anywhere near the temples. Similarly, the 10-day long Ganeshotsav is also a major festival in the state, with thousands of people gathering on the roads for watching the decoration, tableaux and visarjan processions.
On this background, CM Thackeray held a virtual meeting with the representatives of Ganesh mandals in the city. Ashok Godse, President of Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati Trust; Anna Thorat, President of Akhil Mandai Mandal; Shrikant Shete, President of Kasba Ganpati Mandal; Rajabhau Tikar, President of Tambdi Jogeshwari Mandal; Praveen Pardeshi, President of Guruji Talim Mandal; Vivek Khatavkar, President of Tulshibaug Ganpati Mandal; Sanjeev Javale, President of Bhau Rangari Ganpati Trust; Puneet Balan, Mahesh Suryavanshi, Sunil Rasane, Nitin Pandit, Aniruddh Gadgil, Adv Pratap Pardeshi; Prashant Badhe and Sanjay More, City President of Shivsena were present during the online meeting organised at the Ganpati Bhavan near Saras Baug.
Ashok Godse said, "We will cooperate with the state government and celebrate Ganeshotsav with simplicity this year."
Anna Thorat said, "We will soon decide the exact details of how Ganeshotsav should be celebrated with simplicity. The plan will be shared with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar."
CM Thackeray said, "We have continued the tradition of Ganeshotsav and also ensure that the coronavirus outbreak does not go out of control. Ganesh mandal workers should work on health awareness issues instead of taking out processions this year. We will have to mutually decide about the guidelines for Ganeshotsav."
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar said, "We have to battle corona and monsoon simultaneously this year. While continuing with the religious traditions we have to change certain customs and ways of celebrating the festival. This year, Ganeshotsav will have to be celebrated in presence of a few people only."