Maharashtra Times delivered religious blessings to readers during lockdown

By Partha Joshi

BCCL/Maharashtra Times/Pune

Pune, Maharashtra, India


Ganesh Chaturthi is one of Maharashtra’s biggest festivals, worshipping Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu God of new beginnings. Millions of devotees throng to pandals (shrines) to seek the blessings of their beloved deity each year and celebrate the festival with great fervour.

However, with the threat of COVID-19 looming, the Maharashtra state government banned all public gatherings and pandals in 2021, while temples were closed to the public. Citizens largely had to be content with celebrations within the safe confines of their homes, deprived of an opportunity to catch a glimpse of their favourite deity.

With devotees unable to make their annual pilgrimage to their favourite Ganesha shrines, Maharashtra Times helped bridge the gap by bringing the blessings of their beloved Lord to their readers’ homes.

Maharashtra Times partnered up with Lalbaugcha Raja and Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati, the two largest Ganesha shrines in Mumbai and Pune, respectively, to distribute their blessings in the form of vermilion powder pasted onto the printed newspaper. On the auspicious occasion of Ananta Chaturdashi, the 10th day of the festival, more than half a million households in Mumbai and Pune woke up to the Lord’s blessings delivered with their morning newspaper — a first-of-its-kind initiative.

When readers of Maharashtra Times could not celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in person, the company delivered blessings to their homes.
When readers of Maharashtra Times could not celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in person, the company delivered blessings to their homes.

Maharashtra Times has always been a pioneer in reader engagement with a host of innovative solutions. Ganesh Utsav is extremely close to the heart of every Maharashtrian, and we appreciated how much our readers missed visiting their favourite shrines because of COVID-19 guidelines.

At the same time, as a responsible media house, we respected the need to exercise caution with respect to social distancing. So, we decided to do the next best thing: leveraging our wide distribution reach to deliver Lord Ganesha’s blessings to their homes.

In addition to delighting our readers, we also provided our advertisers with an opportunity to associate with the festival and reach out to their target audiences in an impactful and clutter-breaking manner.

This way, we utilised the physicality and reach of our newspapers to add delight to our readers and advertisers uniquely and innovatively.

About Partha Joshi

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