Ganesh Chaturthi is by far the biggest community festival of Maharashtra. Apart from performing puja at home, people usually visit the nook and corner of the city of Mumbai and other cities in the state to catch glimpses of the captivating Ganesha idols. However, the Ganesh Chaturthi of 2020 will be a different one due to the coronavirus pandemic that has brought routine life to a standstill across the globe.
And hence, to contain the spread of the disease, Ganeshotsav organisers in the state have called off large scale celebrations. Even the iconic Lalbaugcha Raja will have a low-key setting this year.
The Lalbaughcha Raja idol, which attracts a sea of humanity every year, will only stand 4-feet tall this year. The Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal shall organise a blood and plasma donation camp at the venue to contribute their bit during testing times such as these.
Reports suggest that the Ganesh Mandals in the city were asked to submit an undertaking (stating that they would follow COVID-19 protocols and social distancing rules) while registering their applications for permission. The Mandals will be expected to sanitise the pandals thrice a day, and a ban on the offering of flowers and prasad shall be imposed.
However, the organisers will have to adhere to the guidelines and ensure there is no overcrowding at the pandal. Most likely, the Pandal management shall take a call on the number of devotees that will be allowed at one time. Nonetheless, people have been advised by the authorities to avoid visiting places that may draw huge crowds. Therefore, the Mandals have been asked to organise LIVE streaming of the Aartis for the devotees so that they can take part in it virtually.