To contain the spread of the Covid virus during the Ganapati festival, the Maharashtra Government on Tuesday issued an advisory asking the devotees to restrict the size of the Ganesh idol to four feet in public places and two feet in residences.
Last year, when the pandemic has broken out, a similar advisory was issued for the size of the idols. Placing restrictions was a major challenge for the State Government, as it is the largest public festival celebrated for ten days across Maharashtra.
This year, the festival will commence on September 10.
In the advisory, the State Home Department has asked the Ganapati mandals or associations responsible for the holding festival in public places, should seek permission from the local administration.
The devotees who celebrate the festival at home have been urged to worship idols made of metal or stone. They could use idols made out of Shadu clay, which is environmentally friendly and immersions can happen also at home . If it is not possible, then immersion should be done in the designated public immersions sites.
The advisory also said that Ganapati mandals could carry health-related activities such as blood donation camps rather than holding cultural programmes during the festival. They should also hold awareness programmes for diseases such as corona, malaria and dengue. The levels of restrictions imposed by the State Government for containing the Covid pandemic will not be diluted during the festival.