Pune: Breaking away from its 127 year old tradition, the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Trust has decided to install its Ganesh idol in the main temple itself instead of a pandal at Kotwal Chavadi during Ganeshotsav this year in view of the Covid-19 outbreak in the city. The trust has taken this decision in interest of the health of devotees and in larger public interest considering the huge crowds that it pulls during the 10 day long festival.
Dagdusheth Ganpati, although not counted in the prestigious first five mandals of the city, is one of the prominent Ganesh mandal in the city which attracts devotees not only from the entire country but also many foreign nationals. The beautifully decorated pandal that is constructed at the Kotwal Chavadi offers a stunning view every year which is usually a replica of any famous temple in India. Dagdusheth Ganpati has also received threats from terrorist organisations earlier and security has to be provided in the temple area throughout the year. Considering the security issues and health risks this year in view of Covid-19 pandemic, the Trust has taken this decision.
Addressing media persons on Monday, Ashok Godse, President of the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Trust said, “We have decided to focus more on online programs and online darshan facility for the devotees of Ganpati Bappa. Creating awareness about hygienic practices and providing healthcare facilities will be on priority of the Trust.”
“This year due to the Covid-19 situation, devotees coming at the temple will have to take darshan only from outside as entry inside the temple is not allowed. Flowers, garlands, coconuts and fruits offerings will not be accepted from devotees at the temple. The ‘prasad’ (devotional offering of God distributed in devotees) will also not be given to devotees this year. An ambulance will be available next to the temple 24x7 in case of any emergency situation,” Godse informed.
Joint Commissioner of Police Dr Ravindra Shisve said, “We welcome the decision of Dagdusheth Ganpati Trust. Other Ganesh mandals should also follow their footsteps and install Ganesh idols in the temples itself instead of putting up a pandal on road.”