Srinivas Reddy, TNN 

Hubli: After an idol of Gandhian-activist Anna Hazare found its place alongside that of Lord Ganesha in a Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal in city, the Shree Gajanana Mahamandal, which has been giving away awards for best organizers of the Sarvajik Ganeshotsava, has decided to name the awards after Anna.

As many as 60 organizers of Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandals will carry home Anna Hazare Awards for best stage decoration, best lighting, best idol, best cultural programme etc. Besides, the Mahamandal will also honour four persons for their exemplary service to society with Anna Hazare Awards.

The Shree Gajanan Mahamandal has been giving away awards for Sarvajanika Ganesha Samitis in Hubli for the past 23 years. Its founder-president D Govind Rao said they started giving away awards more than two decades ago after he found people losing interest in celebrating the festival that had its roots in India’s freedom struggle.