Coronavirus in Mumbai: Ganesh Samiti sets up task force to help BMC fight COVID-19

Mumbai: In the light of the coronavirus crisis, the BrihanMumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BMSGSS) has formed a task force comprising 500 Covid warriors to help people during Ganesotsav. The volunteers will be actively assisting the corporation in undertaking various Covid-related campaigns across Mumbai, said Nikhil Morye, an active member of the committee.

"The 500 volunteers will conduct blood and plasma donation camps, arrange sanitisation and fogging in residential areas if needed, create awareness among citizens about Covid and help positive patients to recover from the mental stress once they return to their houses. Besides, many Ganesh mandals also planning to organise yoga and gymnasium sessions online, " said Morye.

He asserted that the COVID task force will remain active even after Ganesh festival gets over.

In Mumbai, there are about 12,500 sarvajanik Ganesh mandals and two lakh idols are installed by people in their houses every year. Morye stated that to identify the volunteers easily and accessible, they will have a common costume and an identification pass with their numbers. A list will also be available with BMC and local police stations.

"In Mumbai, Ganpati festival is celebrated with much fanfare, however, due to Coronavirus this year no celebration will be held. But since every area has their own mandal, the task force will act as a mediator to inform people where they should go and avail the treatment, where are the Covid care centres, how they can get an ambulance service in an emergency etc. There is still a lot of confusion, the Ganpati mandal volunteers will try and provide prompt help to the distressed citizens, " he explained.

The corporation has reportedly asked mandals at containment zones to immerse Ganesh idols at artificial ponds and lakes. Morye informed that previous year, the number of artificial immersions spots were 34 and this year to avoid the crowd on seashores, the number of artificial lakes would go up by 300. "As all mandals and societies may immerse idols in artificial ponds at their places. After immersion, the dissolved idol clay needs to be disposed of properly and BMC will do that work, while the COVID task force volunteers will also coordinate, " he stated.

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