Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has urged people to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in a low-key manner and avoid crowding in view of the coronavirus epidemic in the country. Maharashtra has been the worst-hit among all states.
He also urged the people from the Muslim community to observe Muharram, which falls in the month-end, in a simple manner and avoid gatherings, an official statement said. It had also said that maatam (mourning) processions should not be taken out keeping in mind the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Maharashtra government has also issued guidelines regarding Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, saying that processions should not be taken out before installing and immersing idols.
Here’s a list of guidelines to be followed for Ganeshotsav:
•The heights of Lord Ganesh idols installed by sarvajanik (community) mandals and at household-level should be limited to 4 feet and 2 feet, respectively, this year.
•All mandals (associations) need to set up mandaps (decorated temporary covered structures) in line with the policies formulated by municipal corporations or the local administration.
•Ganesh Chaturthi is to be celebrated in a simple manner this year, so there should be no pomp in the decorations by sarvajanik mandals or individuals installing idols in homes.
•The government said people should possibly worship idols made of metals, marbles or other elements instead of installing conventional ones this year.
•If the idols installed are made of clay or are eco-friendly, then those should be immersed at home itself. Idols should be immersed at a nearby artificial pond if it is not possible to immerse them at homes, the statement said.
•If possible, the send off of idols should be postponed until the time of immersions of idols installed during Maghi Ganeshotsav or during the month of Bhadrapad 2021, that is, next year.
•Health-related advertisements should be displayed during the 10-day festival to help people keep themselves safe and avoid the infection. The government asked mandals to undertake health initiatives instead of organising cultural programmes.
•Mandals should try to arrange for online darshan of Lord Ganesh’s idols. The government said mandaps be disinfected, thermal screening be arranged for and physical distancing related norms be strictly adhered to by devotees turning up at mandaps to seek darshan of Lord Ganesh.
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