Ganesh festival is one of the biggest festivals in Mumbai city and popularity of the same cuts across boundaries of age and religion. Ganesha Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati. This year too, Mumbai witnessed a frenzy of celebrations. In all, nearly 3 lakh Ganesh idols were brought to homes and for community celebrations and a similar number of idols were eventually immersed at the various beaches and lakes. Each year this brings forth the following challenge: Given the popularity of the festival, high footfall at various pandals (where Ganesh Idols are put up for worshipping) and immersions sites are witnessed. Such gatherings are vulnerable to incidents such as overcrowding, stampede, casualties to the devotees, fire occurrences at the Pandals, etc.
Given the gravity of these issues, every year United Way Mumbai Helpline in partnership of various public and private organizations of the city carries our series of citywide activities and campaigns to promote safer celebration of Ganesh Festival. This year too was no different, with scaled up initiatives and wider outreach to more than 500 major Ganesh Mandals of the city.
Considering the need for trained first responders to prevent any mishaps and mitigate the impact at Ganesh pandals; UWMH joined hands with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) for organizing first responder trainings for Ganesh Mandal groups of city. The training covered the aspect of flood (causes and preventive measures), fire safety, bomb threats, crowd management and first aid methods. The training program was planned by the Disaster Management Cell of MCGM and UWMH helped them in mobilizing the Ganesh Mandals from various parts of the city. The team members of UWMH reached out to numerous Mandals and convinced them about the need for attending the training. In all 100 representatives from various Ganesh Mandals in the city successfully completed the training. The training was imparted by the trainers from MCGM’s Disaster Management Cell.
Besides training the representatives of the Ganesh Mandals, it is imperative to also educate the visitors to these pandals and make them aware of the Do’s & Don’ts to be followed during different disasters such as fire, drowning, stampede and other related emergencies. UWMH put up informative banners at 200 major Ganesh Pandals of the city which displayed vital information regarding different disasters, Do’s and Don’ts and emergency contact numbers in times of crisis. The content of these banners were created in close consultation with the MCGM’s Disaster Management Cell.
Thank You for your continued support.
United Way of Mumbai Team
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