After two years of Covid, Goa Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandals celebrate Chaturthi with zeal

After a gap of two years due to Covid-19 pandemic, Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandals are celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in a big way with zeal and fervour like before. Thousands of Ganesh devotees are seen taking darshan of the diety by visiting these mandals.

Tushar Tople, one of the trustees of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Vishwast Mandal-Mapusa, in north Goa, speaking to IANS said that they are celebrating the 61st year of Ganeshotsav this year. “It was started after liberation in 1962 by freedom fighters. Till today we are celebrating it, however last two years celebration was restricted,” Tople said.

“Before Covid, we used to invite cultural groups from Maharashtra to perform. This year we have not invited them, but we have organised local programmes,” he said.

He said that people offer many things to lord Ganesh after their wishes are fulfilled. “There are Christian families who offer coconuts to lord Ganesh and one Muslim brother every year offers Modaks, which we distribute to devotees,” he said.

According to Tople, this time they have taken care that due to the gatherings, Covid infection should not spread.He said that their annual turnover through donation coupons and other source touches to around 20 lakhs, which they use for social cause. “We give scholarship to 20 students of each school from Mapusa,” he said, adding there are 17 schools here.

He said that more than ten thousand devotees visit this Mandals to seek blessings every day. “Even people from Maharashtra visit and seek blessings,” he said.

Speaking to IANS, Ramesh Naik, President of Quepem Ganeshotsav Mandal, in South Goa, said that during the nine days of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, around seventy thousand devotees visit. “For last 35 years, we are celebrating Ganeshotsav here. Devotees not only from Goa, but from Sadashivgad-Karwar in Karnataka also come to seek blessings.

“Last two years, we couldn’t celebrate it in big way because of Covid restrictions. However, we had worshipped Ganesh and offered puja. We didn’t wanted to break our tradition. This year, on the first day itself we got very good response. Almost 3-4 thousand devotees visited and sought blessings,” Naik said.

He said that devotees believe that whatever they wish for, is granted before next Chaturthi arrives. “Such devotees come again and offer whatever they had promised,” he said.

Sunil Desai, President of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal-Sadar in Ponda taluka of South Goa, also said that they celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi in a restricted manner in the last two years.

“This year we are celebrating 51st years of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav. Usually, less people visit on the first two days but this time there was huge crowd,” he said.

Desai said that for next 11 days, around 35-40 thousand devotees will visit to seek blessings of Lord Ganesh.

He said that people also throng to watch cultural programmes organised by them.

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