Mumbai: The annual 10-day Ganpati fest is celebrated with great zest and zeal in Mumbai. People in large numbers are turning up at city pandals. Do you know the sex workers of Mumbai’s red-light area —Kamathipura— also hosts Ganeshotsav every year?
The 32 feet tall Ganesh idol is in Hindu God Shani’s (Saturn) avatar this year. The Kamathipuracha Chintamani Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal is located in 14 lane.
Sachin Shetty, spokesperson of the Ganesh mandal said the idea to bring the Ganpati idol in Shani God’s avatar is to change the perception of people towards the God.
“Shani gives the results of one’s deeds through appropriate punishments and rewards. However, we fear of him for getting any ill-luck which is not true,” Shetty said.
This year, the mandal is celebrating the 76th anniversary. To make the Ganeshotsav unique, the 32-feet tall idol is in the avatar of Shani God, along with Shani’s vehicle, a crow. Shetty commented, “Whenever the sex workers visit other Sarvajanik Ganesh mandals, they are mistreated and feel awkward.
They are not even considered as human beings, and their fight starts from there itself. Therefore, to overcome all hurdles, the sex workers started Ganeshotsav at their own place.” Shetty is a social worker, who also provides ambulance services to sex workers suffering from ill health.