You cannot escape this donation

In the name of the Saviour

Ready to come home: Ganesha idols are on kept for sale at a shop on the old bus stand road in Kolar, two weeks before the festival. DH photo

Well, the donation that was paid weren’t exactly for the improvement of their academic skills nor was it collected by college authorities. Gangs of youth stormed into the college and started collecting donations for installation of Ganesha idols in various parts of the city.

Some of them even insisted on paying specific amount from the students. It is not an isolated incident, as some of them have even visited schools to collect donations.

Unstoppable

Collection of donation from the public has already begun in the city and is going on unabated though government has clearly banned it. Gangs of men, youth and children, armed with receipt books, steel boxes and containers catch hold people at the first sight.

The beleaguered citizens are then forced to cough up certain amount. Volunteers of many organisations and associations, most of which are dormant through out the year, but suddenly spring up to assert their existence, are also involved in the collection.
Shipowners are the first to fall prey, followed by pedestrians, workers and commuters.

Hardly, anyone has ever escaped from their clutches. There are incidents were the collectors have not only demanded specific amount from the people but have also indulged in verbal duels and fights.

“The collection of donation will only increase in coming days. Incidents of forceful collection of donation from people or shopkeepers by the gang of youths or children should be stopped by the district administration,” said a lecturer of Government Boys College.

People who are pious and want to celebrate the festival shouldn’t thrust their will on common man and should confine to their resources. The organisers are always eager to instal a taller or bigger Ganesha idol than pervious year. Hence they cajole or force people to pay higher sum in donation, a resident said.

Though, police and local administration have issued an order against the collection of donation, they are not taking action against the perpetrators. Hence, the collectors continue their streak with apparent impunity.

Installment scheme

The installment scheme is not limited to buying goods alone. Though, the youth or people who collect money to buy Ganesha purchase their idols in one go, children on the other hand go for installment.

The children who plan to instal a Ganesha idol, give the entire money collected to the owners of the shop at the end of day. The practice lasts till the required money is collected and the shop owner gives the idol, a few days before the festival.

One seller

Only one shop in the city is selling the idols. Manjunath, a resident of Kilaripet is the owner of the shop and has bought the idols from a factory unit in Kataripalya with an investment of Rs 80,000.

Many people are attracted to the shop as the idols of their favourite god with deer, peacock, elephant, cow or in the form of Sai Baba, or sitting on the lap of Lord Shiva are a visual treat. However, there are few idols of Goddess Gauri.

Price tag

Ganesha idols ranging from Rs 400 to Rs 4,000 are available at the shop. The idols priced Rs 25 are yet to arrive.

Though last year idols were available Rs 10, this year, due to price rise, there are no idols, Manjunath said.

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