A new innovative facility has been introduced to help people who are unable to visit Ganesh Chaturthi mandals personally due to reasons like old age, illness, traveling, and so on. Read on to know what it is
MUMBAI, INDIA: Though the Ganesh Chaturthi festival lasts for 10 days, there is a large section of people that are unable participate in celebrations and seek blessings of lord Ganpati personally due to various issues.
It was this social thought that gave birth to this unique online platform Universalganesha.com, jointly started by two groups Adarsh Mitra Mandal and Seva Mitra Mandal from Pune.
About the idea of Universalganesh.com, Adarsh Mitra Mandal's founder Uday Jagtap says, ''Many old age or senior citizens find it difficult to visit Ganesh Chaturthi mandals due to the sheer size of crowd. Some are unable to go personally because of illness or even disabled people find it very difficult to go.''
''While, some families have small kids so they avoid going out at night, also some have shifted to other locations so for them its almost impossible to make it to their favorite pandals,'' Jagtap adds.
''So we thought of a website where in different Ganesh mandals can join, share pictures and videos, which can be easily accessed on the Internet and can facilitate all those people that are unable to visit pandals in their areas or locations,'' he explains.
The portal allows Ganesh mandals and organizers to get registered and share their content online including pictures and videos of Ganesha idols, hall decorations as well as details of their social activities.
Also, an online competition for Ganesh mandals is in progress on the website wherein the participants are asked to upload least one video and picture of their decorated mandal. The best mandal will be picked based on the quality of video content exhibiting detailed information of mandal, its decoration theme and the number of hits it gets during the competition period.
''The web development started in mid July and was launched on September 8. In a very short time since its launch already 40 Ganesh mandals have registered with us. In case some mandal owners are not tech savvy then we help them upload the content,” explains Anand Gowande, Adarsh Mitra Mandal's member and a senior project manager at Infosys, Pune.
Budhavar Peth's Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati, Sadashiv Peth's Nagnathpar Sarvajanik Ganapati Mandal Trust are among the registered mandals with the website.
According to Gowande, the website will allow all those people to visit and seek blessings of lord Ganesh at their favorite mandals using the Internet. ''At present we are leveraging Google's YouTube services at the back end, so the site helps in searching specific videos or pictures of any particular Ganesh mandal that users want to see.''
The video and gallery search section has location and name based options for executing search query of a particular Ganesh mandal the user wants to see.
''Besides, the site helps the groups in reaching to people and gain recognition of their social work and activities. Importantly, for all these Ganesh mandals, its almost impossible to come together at a location, but using the Internet and social media they can unite, exchange ideas and collaborate in social reforms,'' Gowande points out.
''It's the first time we are doing this,'' Gowande says, ''Definitely, we will do live-streaming of immersion of Ganesh idols next year.''