Ganesh Chaturthi 2020: Ganpati Bappa can be viewed by devotees on Zoom, Facebook and other online platforms during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival held this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The 10-day festival, which starts on Saturday, has been cut short to one-and-a-half days at many places in Delhi. Organisers of Ganesh Chaturthi in the national capital region are busy creating social media links for virtual darshans and ensuring health protocol for those who will be at the mandals.
"This is the second time in 35 years we are bringing Bappa for only for one and a half days. It is difficult to organise festivals in Covid times and breaking tradition is considered a bad omen," Nivedita Pande of Marathi Mitra Mandal, one of the oldest mandals in Delhi, told news agency Press Trust of India. "The problem is our mandal is very old and most of the elderly are not very tech savvy. We are taking help from the youngsters so that we can at least have live aarti and darshan on Facebook," Ms Pande said.
Sarvajanik Utsav Samitia, a body of prominent Marathis in Delhi, celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi every year, with cultural events like theatre performances and songs, in association with Delhi Tourism at Dilli Haat, Kamani auditorium and Mavalankar Hall. For the first time in 25 years, they will bring Ganpati at a member's house. "We cannot have big celebrations this year. We will welcome Ganpati at a member's house at Karol Bagh. Visitors will not be allowed. There will be aarti on Zoom in the evening and immersion the next day," said Neena Hejib , the executive chairman of the Samiti.
Gurgaon-based Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava Samiti, in its 28th year, will also have online celebrations. "There will be no physical darshan, everything will be online. We are not even revealing the place where the sthapana of Ganesh will take place," said Jeevan Talegaonkar from the organising committee. "This year we have decided not to raise funds from people or invite sponsorships. We are pooling in money just for a household function....Zoom has an option to link with Facebook and we will use that...," Mr Talegaonkar added.
At Maharashtra Sadan, Ganpati Bappa will stay for five days and there will be no procession or any function this year. "The idol will be small and there will be only morning and evening aarti. The number of visitors will be strictly restricted and temperature will be checked with thermal guns at the entry," Pramod Kolapte, liaison officer, Maharashtra Sadan said.