Mumbai, August 22: The Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati Mandal, which decided not to install an idol of Ganesha this year to prevent congregations, has organised a blood and plasma donation camp. The 11-day drive, which the pandal committee has termed as 'Arogya Utsav', is aimed at saving lives as blood and plasma plays a crucial role in reducing fatalities. Mumbai's Lalbaugcha Raja First Look 2020 Fake Message Goes Viral on WhatsApp Ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi; Here is the Video That is Going Viral.

The decision to organise a blood donation drive instead of installing the Ganesha idol on this Ganesh Chaturthi was taken last month. The Maharashtra government had also placed curbs which prevented installation of idols that are more than 4 feet long.

The Ganesha idol installed by the Lalbaugcha Raja committee each year are 18-20 feet tall. Lakhs of devotees visit the pandal annually to submit their offerings and offer prayers.

"Due to COVID-19, we are conducting this camp instead of a Ganesh pandal," said Balasaheb Sudam Kamble, president of the Lalbaugcha Raja pandal committee. The organisers are hopeful that their celebrations would return to the normal from next year.

Update by ANI

The Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations across India are dampened this year due to the pandemic. Most state governments and union territories paced a bar on public processions.

In Mumbai, the guidelines issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recommend devotees to immerse the idols at their homes using a bucket or drum. Citizens were warned against venturing towards the sea or other natural water bodies in congregation.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 22, 2020 12:10 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website