To mark the completion of 50 years of Ganeshotsav in their mandal, around 200 workers of the Ganesh Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal at Altaf Nagar in Ghatkopar took to crowdsourcing to raise funds for a gold crown for their idol this year.
The mandals, whose members and volunteers are all from humble families, have been collecting the funds for the past five years.
Representatives of the mandal say they wanted to mark the golden jubilee year of their mandal in a special way, so crowning Ganesha with a gold crown felt like the right idea. So, starting in 2012, they decided to draw up plans for a gold crown for their ‘Golibarcha Maharaja’ as their idol is called, and spread the news through word of mouth.
“We never forced anyone to contribute. Workers of the mandal, friends, family friends and those who have known our mandal for long contributed in their own way for the crown. The main factor in this crowdsourcing is that none of the persons is well-off; most of us are slum residents,” said Manohar Desai, chairperson of the mandal.
The crown that adorns their idol’s head has 25 gm of gold and 250 gm of silver, and its total cost was around Rs 13 lakh.
Desai added that while contributors donated each month, many did after every six months or a year.
“Even women who are homemakers tried to invest funds through their daily savings. We took the help of Nana Vedak, who designed the crown for the Lalbaug idol. He also appreciated the crown, calling it the best design ever made,” he added.
“I contributed Rs 100 every month for the past five years for the crown for Bappa. On the tenth of each month, I would religiously contribute to the same. I did it because I consider him as the deity who can fulfill all my wishes,” said Namadev Mahalunge, a medical supplier who lives in the vicinity.
Desai said their colony is located fairly close to the Siddhi Sai building that collapsed recently. “Though we have not decided on the exact amount, we will try to pitch in money to help the victims,” he added.