Mumbai:  Meet Ravi Surve. This ardent devotee of Ganpati has been neglecting his business for two months now, working tirelessly to organise the annual Ganeshotsav celebrations hosted by Fort Vibhag Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, popularly known as Fortcha Icchapurti.

The sole sponsor for the Ganeshotsav, he spends massive sums of money for the arrangements every year, ranging from Rs. 30-50 lakh. This year has been no exception.

The Thane resident has been single-handedly making purchases, arranging for decorations, and even sponsoring all the lord’s jewels.

The zealous devotee took over the responsibility of the mandal five years ago, and his commitment to the annual event has only become stronger each year.

This year, Surve has roped in renowned sculptor Vijay Khatu to craft the Ganpati idol. Well-known artisan Anand Sawant has worked for one-and-a-half months to recreate the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shankar for the pandal.

Surve said, “I took over this mandal five years ago. I am presently based in Thane, but my predecessors lived in Fort, so I decided to take over the mandal at Fort. By the grace of God, I have been able to create a spiritual ambience here every year.

He added, “My wife and daughters will come for darshan every day, and commute daily to Thane. But I will put up at a nearby hotel, as I personally look into all the preparations, be it the pooja or the naivaidya offered to the God.
I believe that every penny that I spend for the lord will be returned to me, in some form or another.”