Money collected through auction is used for development in villages

All is set for the mega ‘laddu’ auction at Balapur on the outskirts of the city. This year participants will be bidding for the 21 kg ‘laddu’ donated by D. Uma Maheswara Rao, a businessman from East Godavari.

“We expect between 15 and 20 bidders this year too and it would fetch a higher amount,” says K. Niranjan Reddy, president, Balapur Ganesh Utsav Committee. The ‘laddu’ auction conducted here has become synonymous with the Ganesh festival and is held every year on the final day of the immersion.

The tradition was started in 1994 by members of the local Balapur Ganesh Utsav Committee. Kollan Mohan Reddy, a native of the Balapur village, successfully bided for it for Rs. 450. Interestingly, the same family had participated in most of the auctions and registered success on eight occasions from the total 18 auctions held so far.

“We have not made up our mind yet, but we are keen to participate this year too,” said Mr. Mohan Reddy. Last year, the family bought the ‘laddu’ for Rs. 5.45 lakh.

Muslims too participate

The money collected through the auction is used for various developments activities in the villages. Even Muslims had participated in the bidding on more than three occasions.

The money was used to renovate an old temple in the village at a cost of Rs. 21 lakh and a shed was put up at a local government school with Rs. 1.45 lakh. The committee also donated Rs. 1 lakh for the flood victims of Mahboobnagar and Kurnool a couple of years ago.

Brings good luck

“It is believed that the ‘laddu’ brings good luck to the bidder, and hence, many come forward to participate in the auction. After bidding, the winner distributes it among the villagers and also sprinkles it in the fields for a better crop,” says K. Niranjan Reddy.

The upset price is fixed by the committee and it remains the same every year.

Vangeti Laxma Reddy has been the auctioneer since 1994 and the bid amount is Rs.1,116.

They also have a website ‘www.balapurganesh.com’.

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