While the city’s mandals struggle with the paucity of priests who can perform pujas, the GSB Seva Mandal at King’s Circle — the richest mandal in the city — has nothing to worry about, as they have 126 priests performing prayers for the five days.
The city has around 4,000 priests for 10,500 ganpati mandals owing to which there is a great demand for priests who are well versed in the prayers.
However, the GSB mandal has around 100 priests from Mumbai, 16 that travel from Karnataka and 10 that travel from Kerala to perform the Trikaal (thrice) puja and other prayers.
Satish Nayak, trustee of the GSB mandal, said, “Everyone here is always excited. Our outstation priests leave all their other responsibilities to others and travel to the city to be part of the five-day prayers.”
He added that the priests have been following the practice for the last 25 years.
On the other hand, Naresh Dahibavkar, president of the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti told MiD DAY that a mandal as rich as the GSB mandal should help other mandals.
“Our city always suffers from a shortage of priests during the Ganesh festival and if one mandal has so many of them, they should offer their services to other mandals and families who want to perform pujas.”