Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati
The deity of Lord Ganesha was incepted by Shri Dagdusheth Halwai and his wife Lakshmibai way back, when they lost their only son to the plague epidemic. Every year, the Ganpati festival was celebrated with deep faith and enthusiasm, not only by Dagdusheth’s family but the entire neighbourhood. Tatyasaheb Godse, then in his early youth, was a zestful participant in the celebrations. In later years, when Lokmanya Tilak made Ganpati festival a public celebration to bring people together for the freedom struggle, Dagdusheth Ganpati became the most respected and popular idol in Pune.
Soon, the young motivated group took the activities of the festival and the temple beyond traditional worship, into the domain of social and cultural development. Besides a rich religious schedule at the temple, they engaged in addressing the social and political problems of the state.
Under the aegis of Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati Trust, they started several social initiatives including educational and financial support to deprived children, micro finance to small businessmen and vendors through Suvarnayug Sahakari Bank, old age home, rehabilitation of workers working at brick kilns to name only a few.
Today, by Lord Ganesha’s blessings, Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati Trust has flourished into a veteran organization that is gratified to worship the Lord through its service to humanity.