No slowdown blues for Maharashtra’s richest Ganesha mandal

Nivedita Ganguly Deepa Nair Mumbai | Updated on September 01, 2013 Published on September 01, 2013

Bonanza: An artist giving finishing touches to a Ganesh idol at the Kambli Arts’ workshop in Mumbai. — Shashi Ashiwal

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

The economic slowdown has not taken the sheen off the most popular Ganesha deity of Maharashtra. 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 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 Ltd, Shemaroo Entertainment, and Mathura Enterprises.

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

In its 80{+t}{+h} year, the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal is expecting over two crore visitors this year. The total cost for organising the ten-day grand revelry will touch Rs 3 crore this year, Pawar said.

Security up

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 was formed in 1935, when the freedom struggle was at its peak. It has grown immensely popular over the years. But the makers of the idol had retained its original style and mould ever since its inception.

The idol makers have ensured that the special creations from their workshop retain its one-of-a-kind status by getting a copyright for its distinctive style. The idol Lalbaugcha Raja is designed by Kambli Arts. Two years ago, Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav 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.



Published on September 01, 2013

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