What slowdown? Rise in gold, silver donations at Ganesh mandals
The Wadala-based GSB Seva Ganesh mandal, the city's richest festival organiser, received over 70 kg gold and more than 470 kg silver this year
Skyrocketing gold prices and a dull economy did not stop devotees from donating whole-heartedly to the elephant God this Ganeshotsav. Major mandals have received record collections of not only cash but also gold and silver.
The Wadala-based GSB Seva Ganesh mandal, the city's richest festival organiser, has seen an increase in gold and silver offerings this year. The cash offerings have also gone up by over 20 per cent this year, said Satish Naik, senior trustee of the mandal. We have received over 70 kg gold and more than 470 kg silver this year. Interestingly, when it comes to religion, recessionary trends do not seem to have an effect. While the mandal is also trying to fund a college in Bhayandar, direct donations to the cause were less, as devotees would rather donate in the name of God than a cause". The mandal has received Rs 6.3 crore this year as compared to Rs 5.3 crore last year.
Gold prices have been recording a sharp rise in the past six months, with the yellow metal crossing the Rs 32,000-mark last month during the Ganesh festival. While gold prices touched new highs last month, it closed at Rs 31,223 today, witnessing a gain of 12 per cent since April this year at the rate of Rs 27,890 per 10 gm.
At Andhericha Raja, amongst the most popular Ganesh mandals in the suburbs, the collections have been increasing each day. Uday Salian, spokesperson for the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal that will conduct visarjan on October 3, the gold and silver offerings are more this year as per the number of hundis we have collected. One might go slow on their spending at other items, but true devotees never cut back on the offerings to God, as this is usually a religious tradition.