Free Press Journal

Ganesh Festival: Utensils come in handy for this Thane mandal


Mumbai: Kitchen utensils and decorative items are a world apart but a mandal in Thane decided to give artistic touch to the Ganpati festival this year using utensils. Members of Thane’s Shiv Garjana Mitra Mandal decided on using more than 15,000 forks, spoons, bowls and plates to decorate their pandal.

Located at Wakarwadi area in Uthalsar, Thane, the mandal been celebrating for the past 32 years and for the first time, it is using the utensils for decoration. The artistic design of a peacock and a blooming flower which surrounds the pandal have used 3,000 bowls, at least 5,000 spoons and more than 1,000 small plates. Only 30% of their decoration is yet to be completed and members of the mandal say that their finishing work would be done in a day.

“Every year, students and their parents in our locality dedicate two hours a day to decorate the pandal. Our work starts 10 days ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi to construct the masterpiece,” said Vijay Dhavale, president of Shiv Garjana Mitra Mandal. The innovate pandal is the brainchild of Vicky Fernandes and Amit Pashte, who wanted to use eco-friendly materials. “Fernandes is a tattoo artist by profession and is used to provide artistic touch to our pandals every year,” Dhavale said.

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Earlier, the group has used chocolates, biscuits and even dry fruits for pandals. “We used to cover the area using ant powder to protect the pandal from ants feeding on biscuits and chocolates,” said another member of the mandal.

Two days ago, the mandal was awarded with a trophy and cash prize of Rs 10,000 for their previous year’s innovative pandal. A competition for innovative pandals was organized by the Thane unit of Shiv Sena. “Last year, we decorated our pandal using materials like stitching thread and colourful buttons. We are glad to announce that we stood second in that event,” a gleaming Dhavale said.

He said their mandal is driven by competition and they put their heart and soul into constructing an innovative pandals. “There are more than 15 pandals in Thane. We all share a good bond with each other and have a competitive mindset when it comes to constructing pandals. We hope that Lord Ganesh blesses all of us in continuing the ritual of bringing innovative ideas to this mandal group,” Dhavale added.