S. Sandeep Kumar
Lord Ganesh is known for bestowing prosperity and this is what the Lord’s laddu has done with different youths and welfare organisations over the years in the city.
Prospering from the proceeds of the laddu auction, these organisations continue to come up with jaw-dropping bid amounts every year. So much so that the laddu auction has now become synonymous with the 11-day Ganesh festivities in the city.
While some consider it as a blessing of the Lord of Beginnings, others look at it as a sentiment.
In all, the Balapur laddu auction has added a new dimension to Ganesh festivities in the city. The auction, which commenced in the year 1994 with a bid amount of Rs. 450, crossed the Rs.5 lakh mark and reaped Rs.5.35 lakh for the Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samiti last year.
The idea was not to make money but to do something for welfare of the locality. While, the successful bidders are blessed with prosperity, the Samiti utilises every penny gained out of the auction for welfare of the people, says Niranjan Reddy, president Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samiti.
“Many consider the auction as a financial exercise but we look at it as a means to serve people,” says Mr. Reddy.
The Samiti, out of the proceeds from laddu auction, had donated Rs.1 lakh to flood victims in Mahabubnagar and Kurnool a few years ago, constructed sheds in the Balapur Government High School and has done many social service activities.
Following suit, many different organisations too have auctioned the laddu at respective areas. The Badangpet Ganesh Utsav Samithi in old city is very close to the popularity of the Balapur Ganesh laddu.
In fact, the Badangpet laddu was auctioned for a higher price than that of Balapur laddu. Last year, the laddu was auctioned for Rs. 7.20 lakh and every year the bid amount continues to increase. It was mere Rs.150 in 1992, says S. Arjun, sarpanch of Badangpet.
Then there is the Pahadishariff Ganesh Utsav Samiti as well. With real estate business flourishing in Shamshabad, Maheshwaram and other areas, many organisations on the city fringes too are auctioning the Lord’s laddu.