Sponsorship, hefty insurance cover mark big-bucks Ganesh Chaturthi

Nivedita Ganguly Deepa Nair | Updated on September 08, 2013 Published on September 08, 2013

“Lalbaugcha Raja”, the biggest Ganesh idol standing tall at 21 feet be taken for immersion at Girgaum Chowpatty in Mumbai (file photo).

The city is soaked in festive spirit as Ganesh Chaturthi begins. Towering idols and eco-friendly ones alike dot every nook and cranny.

The economic slowdown has not taken the sheen off Maharashtra’s most popular deity. At 12 feet, Mumbai’s iconic Lalbaugcha Raja has been receiving a steady flow of sponsorships from corporates and local advertisers.

“This year, the sponsorships are expected to cross Rs 4 crore,” said Ashok Pawar, President of Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal. The total donations at the end of the 10-day festivities easily cross Rs 50 crore each year.

Social Welfare

The richest Ganesha mandal in Maharashtra has so far received sponsorships from corporations such as Reliance Broadcasting Network, Shemaroo Entertainment and Mathura Enterprises.

The mandal runs a series of social welfare schemes using the funds. Free medical services at its dialysis centre, a fund to bear 10 per cent of the expenses at government hospitals in the city and a book bank with two lakh books for higher education are some of the facilities it offers.

The Lalbaugcha Raja mandal, set up in 1935, is expecting over two crore visitors this year. The total cost for organising the ten-day grand revelry will touch Rs 3 crore, Pawar said.

Patented design

More than 100 CCTV cameras, metal detectors and over 300 private security guards along with 3,000 police guards will be deployed as part of the security measures at this popular Ganesh mandal.

The mandal has retained the original style and mould of the Ganesha idol down the years. The idol of Lalbaugcha Raja is designed by Kambli Arts. The idol makers have ensured that the special creations from their workshop retain their one-of-a-kind status by getting a copyright for its distinctive style. Two years ago, the mandal also secured a global patent for the city’s favourite idol, whereby no one can use the name Lalbaugcha Raja for any product, commercial venture or even create a Web site bearing the name.

Theme-based mandals

This time, theme-based Ganesha mandals with social messages have come up in many places in the city.

Navi Mumbai’s oldest mandal, Shivchhaya Mitr Mandal, is known to have theme-based celebrations every year. This year, its 43rd Ganeshotsav, it features a replica of the Kedarnath temple of Uttarakhand, ravaged in the recent floods.

Animal extinction due to ruthless poaching will be the theme of Nakva Sitaram Bhagat Sanskrutik Mandal in Palm Beach Road.

The Sanpadyacha Maharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal will focus on spreading awareness about women’s safety.

Insurance cover

Mandals across Mumbai have sought multi-crore insurance covers for the 10-day festival period.

Mumbai’s wealthiest mandal, GSB Seva Ganesh Mandal, has taken insurance for a whopping Rs 223.35 crore from a public sector general insurer. This includes cover for all devotees and the deity’s ornaments against terror attacks, accidents or external damage.

The insurance cover for Lalbaugcha Raja has gone up to Rs 51 crore from Rs 45 crore last year. New India Assurance has secured the mandate for the insurance package.



Published on September 08, 2013
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor