Ganeshotsav is a festival that is celebrated throughout the city and in several households. But hospitals in the city too have created space to comfortably seat a Ganapati idol and involve the staff members and patients in the celebrations.
The Ganapati mandal at Ruby Hall Clinic is situated at the basement where doctors and other workers pay their respects and get back with ease to attend to their respective wards. The mandal is perhaps the only source of bright colours and lights that the hospital sees. Laxman Baban Bhosle, a maintenance foreman, has been working at Ruby Hall Clinic since the past 25 years. He has also been at the forefront in arranging the mandal during Ganeshotsav. “This is a great way for us to involve both the old and new members of the staff. The aarti takes place at 8 pm every night and we keep the idol for all the 10 days. We send an invitation to every ward so that patients, their families and doctors can join us. We initially started off by keeping a picture of Ganapati. It is only recently that we have started keeping an idol during the festival,” explains Bhosle.
With the kind of atmosphere that fills up hospital hallways, Jehangir Hospital brings in Bappa as a ray of light and hope. The idol is placed outside the hospital and access is guaranteed to all. Be it the doctors, staff or the patients’ families. Speaking to Pune 365, Raju Sawant, an executive at the hospital, tells us, “We have been keeping a Ganapati idol since 2008. Every day the aarti takes place in the morning as well as in the evening and it is performed by a different Head of Department from the hospital. We do this to create a positive environment and some activity for the patients. Also, on the sixth day we organise a small affair, where food is given to everyone that comes from the donations received.”
While some hospitals have been venerating the elephant-headed god since the recent past, Sassoon Hospital has been continuing this tradition for more than 50 years according to Arshad Ali. Ali is a doctor at the hospital, who gives us an insight into what Ganeshotsav means to the people of Sassoon. “Since doctors spend most of their time here, even though they keep Ganapati at their homes as well, they tend to celebrate it in the hospital. Everyone is involved in the aarti process from doctors to patients. This time we are keeping the idol for seven days. Every year we tend to reduce the number of days because we don’t get much time to celebrate,” he adds.
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