“If there’s no fund and budget, how to celebrate Ganpati Festival?”

Major economic droop has hit the small Ganesh Mandals in Mumbai which is seeing a whopping 30% decrease – No striking embellishments – Ganpati Idol on a curtailed budget

Mumbai has geared up with the biggest festive season – the Ganpati celebration. Started from September 2, there are long queues of devotees thronging at different pandals to capture a glimpse of the favourite ‘Bappa’ in all his splendor and radiance.

The economic droop is the talk of the town where GDP growth slowed for a fifth straight quarter to 5.7 per cent within three months ended June which is slower than 5.8 per cent expansion in the previous quarter. The major economic slump has taken a toll on the magnificence of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Mumbai. Being the greatest celebration within the city individuals from over Maharashtra and India run to witness the ostentatious festival.

Small Ganesh mandals of Mumbai and its rural areas are seeing a whopping 30% decline when it comes to corporate sponsorships within the wake of the financial droop that India is going through. As far as Sarvajanik Ganpati mandals are concerned, the budget is between Rs 7 to Rs 25 lakhs. For the big celebrations like the Lalbaug-cha-Raja, Ganesh Gully, Andheri-cha-Raja, Fort-cha-Raja, GSB Seva Mandal, Chinchpokli Chintamani, donations from enormous companies and brands, those are involved in real estate, automobile companies, and FMCG have also come down. The spokesperson of Chinchpoklicha Chintamani, a mandal that’s celebrating its centenary in 2019 said that due to the financial downturn Lalbaug, the center of celebrations amid Ganesh Chaturthi, receives donations worth Rs 10 lakh for a mandal each year but it has been between Rs 7-8 lakhs this year.

Celebrating at a smaller pace

Vinod Thukarul, Chairman, Shreeramwadi Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Andheri expressed displeasure, “Financially it has enormously affected smaller mandals. We have to cut costs on everything. Compared to the previous years, we are incapable to celebrate Ganpati on a bigger scale. Approximately last year the budget was 3 lacs. This year roughly it has been decreased to 2.35 lacs. The financial crunch is influencing Ganpati. Ganesh Icon costs about Rs 60,000 and all the embellishments of Ganpati Mandal – pieces of jewellery and flowers we are considering 10% less on everything. No one is giving donations and sponsorships this year. Embellishments costs around Rs 110000. In case there’s no finance and budget, how to celebrate Ganpati festival?”

Anil Mokal, Principal Secretary, Balbeer Mitramandal Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav Bandra said, “We have received 20% less funds compared to the previous years which becomes difficult to deal during Ganpati festivities. There has been a drop of at least 30% in ordering Ganesh idol.” Agreeing to the fact, Nilay Kumar, Chairman, Sagarcity Complex Ganpati Utsav, Versova said, “It has affected smaller Ganpati pandals at a greater scale. There has been an in general financial lull, where many households who used to donate Rs 1000 in the previous years are now offering 500. There has been no advertisements and sponsorships this year.”

Whereas Subodh Chitnis, treasurer of Andheri-Cha-Raja commented, “Smaller mandals are not getting advertisements. They are highly affected by the economic slump. We have received enough donations. Incredible delight and in extraordinary eagerness we are celebrating Ganpati Puja this time. There has been an overall economy slowdown which has affected but Andheri Cha Raja being in the A grade profile, being within the A review profile, corporates come forthright and publicize for us. We have helped Kolhapur flood by planting 5000 tress this time and have donated organs through ORGAN India Team. We also received fewer advertisements from local traders.”

Sunil Mantri, CEO, Shree Aniruddha Upasana Foundation, Khar West said, “Yes, there has been an economic downturn overall. We are celebrating in a lesser way but not much affected as all our trustees and people love Sadguru Aniruddha Bapu and they visit him during Ganpati. To avoid ill-effects and safeguard the environment, we initiated the project of making eco-friendly Ganesh idols. This time it is prepared from paper pulp.”

The local inhabitants have tightened their pocket and commercial sponsors have chosen to diminish the estimate of the advertisements. However, Ganesh mandals have proceeded to be part of different social welfare plans amid the celebration, counting collection for flood-affected people and contributing to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.