The approaching Ganesh festival has given a huge boost to the anti-tobacco campaign with more than 10,000 Ganesh mandals in Mumbai promising to reject any advertising of tobacco products during the 11-day long festival period.
The president of Sarvajanik Ganpati Mandal Samanvay Samiti, Naresh Dahibawkar revealed that his organization contacted all of the mandals that will spring up during the festivals to refrain from putting up billboards and posters advertising ghutkas, beedis and cigarettes.
While almost all of those who were contacted have agreed to the request, it will come at a price with the mandals expected to lose at least Rs 50 lakhs during the festivals since advertisements of tobacco products are their main source of income.
"Besides no advertisements, we are also serious about not allowing any tobacco consumption in and around 500 metres of the pandal. We are planning to initiate action against mandals flouting the rules with the BMC's help", Dahibawkar added.