The festive season in India has begun but the on-going pandemic has affected everything. The new normal has changed the way of living. Social distancing is the new norm, masks are mandatory.
The most anticipated festival of â€˜Vighnahartaâ€™ Ganeshotsav which was earlier celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. But this year even after making several wishes of celebrating the festival like before it has not going to full fill now due to the ongoing pandemic.
This has also affected the way of celebrating festival; according to the set guidelines the size of Ganesh idol must be up to 4 feet, minimum devotees be present in pandols, and avoid mass procession, and advised to bid their goodbye to lord Ganesh at their respective pandols itself and avoid going out to the ponds set by the authorities just to avoid any physical contacts to keep the virus at bay and along with this one has to strictly follow the rules set by the government to stop spread the deadly Coronavirus.
People are finding new alternatives for celebrating festivals this year and avoiding social contact. Eco-friendly Ganesh Idol is the first choice; people are more towards immersion of idols at home.
This year the Ganesh Mandals are more precautious in following rules and keeping all the devotees safe from the virus.
Sunil Hiranwar one of the members of Ganesh Mandal at Zenda Chowk said that â€œAs we all know that the cases are increasing every day in the city, and as a sentimental value we have decided to celebrate the festival this year as well but we are going to strictly follow the guidelines. This year the decoration will be minimal, we have ordered the idol to be made from eco-friendly material so that we can do the immersion at the pandal itself. We have also canceled all the functions and will allow limited devotees onlyâ€.
Another Mandal member Madhav Khopde said â€œEarlier we use to decorate pandols with different social themes at Bajaj Nagar, but this year it is very difficult to do the same. We will set the pandol but no one from outside will be allowed to visit, nor will be able to attend the pooja. All activities are called off as wellâ€.
â€œThe only good thing that came out of Pandemic was the earth got a chance to heal itself, and I think itâ€™s a wakeup call for all of us that climate change is a real thing. Now the biggest festival of the year is coming up air and water pollution level will go up. We can stop that by buying an eco-friendly Ganpati. Itâ€™s our job to fight such a challenge and protect mother earth. So, Iâ€™d advise everyone to go for eco-friendly and avoid any physical contactâ€ said Pranjali Somase.
Pallavi Ghanwat a devotee said that we all know that â€œThe current pandemic has affected us all our lifestyle has changed drastically this year I have bought silver metal Ganesha idol and I will celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at my home with family only. I will make sweets and decorations at home and try to make it special and will pray to Lord Ganesha to give us the strength to fight with Covid-19â€.