Mumbai, Sep 9 () : Ganesh Chaturthi began here in a grand manner and showed no signs of economic slowdown affecting the festivities. The donations to the Ganesh pandals from corporates and politicians have increased compared to last year.
Insurance cover for the day and worshippers too have become bigger. The 12-feet idol of Ganesha at Lalbaugcha Raja has received Rs 4 crore as donations and by September 19 when the festival ends, the donations would cross Rs 59 crore. The sponsors of this venue are Reliance Broadcasting, Mathura Enterprises and Shemaroo Entertainment.
The ten-day festival will cost the organizers about Rs 4 crore. 2000 policemen and 300 private security guards with 100 close circuit cameras screen the devotees as such venues could be open to terrorist attacks.
Last year, this venue was insured for Rs 45 crore and this year New India Assurance has been given the cover for Rs 51 crore. This time donations for Ganesh Chaturthi from politicians are pouring in to get blessings from Ganesha to win the coming elections.
GSB Selva Ganesh Mandal, the richest in Mumbai has insured the devotees and dirty as well as the ornaments for Rs 223.35 crore from a public sector general insurance company. This cover is against accidents, terror attacks or external damage.
Kambli Arts have retained the original style and mood of the Ganesha idol for years together. The idol of Lalbaugcha Raja has ensured that the special creations have a copyright for its distinctive style.
Two years ago, the mandal also got a global patent for the name so that it cannot use it for commercial purpose or create a website using the name. The Mandal runs a free dialysis unit and gives 10% of the earnings to Government hospital for its maintenance and has two lakh books in a book bank that is used by students pursuing higher education.
Many of mandals use the occasion to spread social awareness. One has a replica of Kedarnath shrine to bring home the disaster while another has a theme about women’s safety. On account of Ganesh Chaturthi, the stock markets are closed and will open tomorrow.