Gold and silver prices may be soaring, but so is devotion. If donation figures are any indication, the price rise of precious commodities may thin out when it comes to the comparative figure of donations last year.

Two prominent Ganesh mandals belonging to the Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) community, which is known to be rich due to gold and silver offerings they receive, have seen a jump of over 20%.

Devotees have given offerings that range from a gold hand with a modak in it, ear ornaments and lions besides a seated Ganesha.
“This year, we have 11kg gold and 50kg silver more, compared to last year. The gold and silver, in the form of ornaments, was 50kg gold and 250kg silver last year,” said Dinesh Pai, public relations officer of the GSB Seva Mandal which organises the five-day Ganpati at King’s Circle.

The mandal had made a special appeal this year to devotees, as it was sprucing up the ornaments. “The addition is from the special invite. What people will give over and above this,
we will come to know only next year, after accounting
is done,” Pai added.

While some offered gold and silver, others preferred money, indicating on what it should be spent. “Since we use only 22karat gold, there was a provision for them to send money,” added Pai, holding a Rs2-lakh cheque. The mandal has recovered the cost that has mostly gone into strengthening of the ornaments.

Prominent ornaments that form the 61kg of gold are a 25kg crown with embedded jewels, 5.5kg lions, 4kg ears and 4kg hands.

The GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti in Wadala, which organises a 12-day Ganpati also receives large amounts of donations in gold and silver. “We do not believe in quantifying what devotees offer, so we never check how much is offered,” said Wadala Mandal trustee Ashok Pai.

At the mandal, apart from the gold hand with a modak in it, a necklace of gold and ear ornaments with studded American diamonds and rubies, are some of the offerings. “We do not know the weight, but moneywise, the jump is around 20%,” said trustee NN Pal.

After the festival, the offerings are kept in bank vaults.

Source: DNA