News and Pics by Ancy Paladka
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai (SP)
Mumbai, Sep 4: As far as the citizens of Maharashtra state are concerned, 'Ganesha Chaturti' is the mother of all festivals. The birth day of this God of wisdom, prosperty and auspiciousness, is celebrated by all categories of people in the state. Lokamanya Balgangadhar Tilak had initiated the celebration of 'Vinayaka Chaturti' as it is also known, with the view of strengthening the unity and integrity among the Indians a century ago.
The Ganesh Chaturthi Pandal of the Konkani speaking Gauda Sarasvat Brahmin (GSB) Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava Samiti in Wadala, is one of the most popular Vinayaka Chaturthi pandals in Mumbai. It is also one of the richest Ganapati idols in the city. The GSB Ganesha festival being held at the Wadala Dwarakanath Bhavan near Dadar TT, has a history of more than 50 years. The first Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav of the Samiti was held here in the year 1955.
GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava celebrations here is unique, for the use of eco-friendly materials and methods, including the making of the huge clay idol. The idol is usually adorned with 60 kilograms of gold and 175 kilograms of silver. The golden crown on the idol weighs around 22 kg.
The samiti is also in the forefront of philanthropic activities which include providing of educational aid, distributing of scholarships to students, feeding the poor, extending medical assistance to the needy and the deserving, etc. The trust regularly contributes to a number of institutions engaged in human relief activities, apart from directly promoting educational and welfare Activities.
During the 12-day festival, people can perform Pujas and take part in various rituals and contribute to the Anna Dana Seva – food distribution to all.
GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava Samiti's Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations began on Wednesday, September 3 and will conclude on Sunday September 13, Anant Chaturdashi day. Puja at the venue is conducted every day from 7 am to 2 pm, while Prasadam is distributed between 2 pm and 4.30 pm. Pujas are also conducted at 5.30 pm to 9 pm, followed by Ratri Puja at 9 pm. Bhajans and cultural programmes are scheduled to be held from 9 pm onwards every day.
The committee had taken up various religious oblations, contests, programmes etc., during last year. The GSB Medical Trust, associated with the committee, will be holding a Healthy Baby Contest for the babies in the category of upto one year and a year to three year olds on Sunday September 7. It also distributes scholarships to GSB students.