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Covid pandemic has pushed all festivals in the slow lane in Maharashtra

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 01, 2020 Published on July 01, 2020

On the last day of the Ganesh festival, thousands of devotees gathered on roads across Mumbai on Sunday for immersion of Ganesha idols in the sea. - Shashi Ashiwal (file photo)

The Covid pandemic in Maharashtra has pushed all the festivals in the slow lane. Today is Ashadi Ekadashi, one of the most important days in Maharashtra’s calendar but the mega Pandharpur Wari, the annual pilgrimage and celebration have been suspended.

Every year on the day of Ashadi Ekadashi, lakhs of people throng to the temple town of Pandharpur in South-western Maharashtra. Some of the devotees walk hundreds of kilometres to reach Pandharpur for celebrating at the Vitthal temple.

In Mumbai, the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has also decided today not to hold any festivities during the 11-day Ganapati festival, which will start from August 22. Same is the case with hundreds of Ganesh festivals organisers who have either cancelled their celebration or opt for low key celebrations, which will attract the least number of people for the festivals.

The Ganesh idol installed during the festival by the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal draws lakhs of devotees. But this year organisers have announced that given the Covid pandemic, the Mandal would be celebrating by holding a health festival, which will have events such as blood and plasma donation camps. During the festival, family members of police personnel who died due to virus infection while on duty would be felicitated.

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray in a tweet welcomed the step taken by the organizers and said that this decision is going to add strength in the fight against Covid pandemic.

On Sunday, while addressing the state via a Facebook Live, Thackeray had appreciated the cooperation provided by several Ganapati organisers and their federation who have traditionally held the festival across the state for the last 100 years. He had said that Ganesh idols will be of only 4 feet and there will be no processions.

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Published on July 01, 2020
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