Mandals focus on social themeshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/mandals-focus-on-social-themes/

Mandals focus on social themes

Initiatives range from donations to Malin survivors to highlighting noise pollution.

BY AASHAY KHANDEKAR

Ganesh mandals in the city are concentrating on social issues this year.

“For a few years, the mandal organisers were struggling to create quality content for the visitors’’, admitted Sham Mankar of ‘Hatti Ganpati’. He said that number of families coming for the “dekhava” has reduced with mandals digressing from social themes. “So this year, we thought of presenting a small show on how to celebrate Ganeshotsav,’’ he added. The mandal is all set to present differences between Lokmanya Tilak’s ganeshotsav and the contemporary style of celebration. The mandal shows bullock carts carrying Lord Ganesha on one side of the stage and on the other, trucks are shown doing the same, as happens presently. The theme also highlights the menace of noise pollution during the festivities.

In Shukrawar Peth, ‘Seva Mitra Mandal’ will be presenting a live show titled ‘Social Media : Boon or Curse’. A 85 ft tall structure of ISKCON’s Hare Krishna temple to be built in Vrindavan, has been erected and the live show will take place inside. Chairman of the mandal, Shirish Mohite said, “The 85 ft tall structure is the centre of attraction. It was in the news for a brief period. So, we took up the blueprint of the temple and readied it with cloth. The message is for the youth.” The mandal also plans to invite survivors of Malin for their programme.

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Dilip Raut, Chairman of ‘Hirabaug Mitra Mandal’ said that they would not have any celebration this year and would donate the money they have collected to the survivors of Malin disaster. “Hirabaug will only show a ‘Jal Abhiyaan’ powerpoint presentation as the money has been donated to Malin survivors. We know that people wait eagerly for our show but we decided to focus on Malin this year,” added Raut. However, he promised that the mandal will come up with something big next year.

‘Grahak Peth’ has made a huge ‘modak’ out of biscuits and the Ganesha will be kept inside the ‘modak’. Suryakant Pathak, head of ‘Grahak Peth’ said, “Our focus is on children. We believe that Ganeshotsav is all about fun; we respect the social causes and initiatives by other mandals, but we don’t want to lose our primary visitors.”