The famous Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal of Mumbai will replace Ganesh Chaturthi with Arogya Utsav, install blood and plasma donation camps instead of Ganesha idol this year. By Tanvi Jain

 

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The famous Ganpati Idol installed every year by Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal in Mumbai, will give a miss this year, as the authorities have decided not to hold celebrations amid COVID-19. “Raja of Lalbaug Public Ganeshotsav Mandal in the year 2020, the King of Lalbaug will celebrate ‘Arogya Utsav’ for the devotees,” Lalbaugcha Raja said in a tweet. 

Hailing the move, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray added, “Raja of Lalbaug Public Ganeshotsav Mandal has decided to celebrate Arogya Utsav this year considering the outbreak of Corona instead of celebrating Ganeshotsav of Raja of Lalbaug. The king of Lalbaug has always set an example for the people. This decision will strengthen the state’s fight against Corona.” He had last month directed the Ganesh Mandals to have a lowkey celebration of the festival this year and had urged them to undertake social welfare programmes. He had also ordered them not to install Ganesh idol at a height of over four feet. 

 

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Reports also say that the committee will instead install blood and plasma donation camps, provide financial assistance to the kin of deceased cops who succumbed to COVID-19, and honour the families of 20 late soldiers martyred during the India-China clash in Ladakh. 

The committee had earlier in May also arranged for Janata clinic, thermal scanner and an Oxygen van, to contribute in the fight against Coronavirus. It has been installing Ganesh idol every year since 1934. The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are supposed to start from August 22 this year. 

 

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Moreover, apart from the Lalbaugcha Raja Mandalanother famous committee called Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal has decided to replace Utsav Murti with just a four-feet tall Ganesh idoland also organise online darshan for people to attend the event virtually from home. Similarly, Wadala’s GSB Mandal has postponed the celebrations to February next year. 

Maharashtra had recently announced the extension of lockdown till July 31, in wake of rising COVID-19 cases across the state. 

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