Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar (C) handed over the certificates to all 11 winners
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar (C) handed over the certificates to all 11 winners
Pic by BL Soni

Of 600 participants who were eager to show their art and love towards the environment by making eco-friendly household or society Ganesh idols during Ganeshotsav, ten entries were awarded as winners of the `Free Press Journal’s Eco-Ganesha Mumbai Mayor’s Awards’ at a ceremony held on Friday evening. There was also a special `Mayor’s Choice Award’, which was given to Shravan Ghodke.

The other ten winners were Dr V Ramani, Amrut Yadav, Girish Rudra, Hemant Patil, Kishore Rajshirke, Navneet Chudasama, Yash Thakur, Shubham Vanmala, Sachin Patil and Santosh Patil.

Despite COVID-19 forcing Mumbaikars to celebrate Ganeshotsav in a much simpler manner this year, many still brought Lord Ganesha home, and The Free Press Journal and Navshakti this year promoted `Eco-Ganesha’ in association with the Mumbai Mayor. Many Mumbaikars participated enthusiastically in the Eco-Ganesha competition organised during Ganeshotsav in August.

“We should now start accepting participants across Maharashtra for the Free Press Journal Eco-Ganesha competition from next year,” said Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar at the award ceremony organised by FPJ and Dainik Navshakti on Friday evening.

“It was a great initiative by FPJ and Navshakti, due to which we got to know the love towards the environment, art and culture among Mumbaikars. All the participants were good, but only the best can be selected and these 11 had come with good concepts through which they can save environment,” said Pednekar.

The event was also attended by Abhishek Karnani, Director, FPJ, Rajeev Mishra, Principle, Sir JJ Schools of Arts, Narendra Kothekar, Editor, Dainik Navshakti and Ravi Shetty, Marketing head of FPJ and Navshakti. The anchor for the award ceremony was Dr Mrunmayi Bhajak.

Rajeev Mishra, principal, Sir JJ Schools of Arts said despite the whole country reeling under the effect of COVID-19, making it difficult to celebrate Ganeshotsav, many contestants came forward to participate in the Eco-Ganesha competition. Moreover, it showed that the country has many talented people who are waiting for opportunities to showcase their talent.

“It was a great initiative, which received a good response across the city. All the participants were very talented and their concepts were very good, which shows their love for the environment,” Mishra said. Moreover, he requested the Mayor to organise a workshop for making eco-Ganesha in civic schools.

Shravan Ghodke, who won the Mayor’s Choice Award, showcased a concept of saving small insects which are now not seen by naked eyes due to excessive pollution across the city.

“Nowadays we rarely see any insects who give positive vibes, like butterflies which almost vanished. I just wanted to spread a message so that citizens should know what we are missing and what needs to be saved,” Ghodke said.

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