IF FINDING a trained pundit or guruji for Ganpati Bappa at home was once a matter of calling relatives and negotiating costs with busy priests, it won’t be so this festive season. Under a start-up initiative to provide qualified priests for poojas, a group of youngsters has begun training youth for the job.
Under the initiative started a month ago, young people are being trained by professional priests on rituals of conducting various poojas. The start-up also aims to prepare similar professionals for different religions so that they can cater to various groups.
“Gurujis catering to different religious interests are being trained to conduct various poojas, including Ganpati sthapana, Satyanarayan pooja among others. With Ganeshotsav here, we thought it was the best time to launch our service,” said Mansi Shinde (30), president of the group that calls itself ‘Get My Guruji’.
When asked what initiated the concept, Shinde said it was only to fill the wide gap between number of poojas happening and Gurujis available in the city.
“In metropolitan cities as big as Mumbai, it becomes difficult to find a Guruji as per one’s demand with ease. Also, a rise in the trend among young couples inviting Ganpatis to their homes has been witnessed. Providing qualified gurujis at such homes, we thought, was an essential need,” Shinde added.
The gurujis they train are first made to understand the importance of performing an act before actually doing one, she claimed.
The group has seen many women turning up to be trained as pundits. Though clients had started calling in to ask for Gurujis before the festival began, their final training is still on, Shinde said.
Within a few days of making the initiative public, the group claims they received a great response. “On the first day after we placed an ad, we received more than a hundred calls. While the initiative was aimed to cater to individual homes, a lot of calls were from sarvajanik pandals. Families who have been hosting Ganesh idols for the past 15-20 years too showed interest in hiring our guruji,” Shinde said, while claiming to have trained almost 80-90 priests so far.
Rates for performing the poojas would vary according to the number of rituals performed by the pundit. The service is in place from September 5.