Ganapati Bappa Moraya!!!
Ganpati Utsav as it is called in Maharashtra, is just 2 days away now and all of us are waiting for the festivities to begin. Shops (some makeshift shops also, just for this occasion) are flooded with colorful Ganesh idols in different sizes and lots and lots of colorful, glittering decorative items, tempting you to buy them!!
Hey, before you are tempted to buy all that eye-catching, glittering stuff…..a word of caution….
These beautifully decorated idols are made of plaster of Paris which is not easily dissolved in water. Many of the items used for decoration are made from Thermacol or plastic which is not biodegradable.
These idols along with the decorations will be immersed in water on the last day of the festival.Think of the amount of pollution – kilos n kilos of POP, Plastic, Thermacol, flowers etc.. will cause to the water and marine life post immersion.
NGO’s, environmental groups and the government to a certain extent, have been trying to create awareness for a environment friendly celebration of the festival. But looking at the shops and other preparations around ,they seem to have not been taken very seriously.
Don’t get me wrong here. I am not against celebrating the festival, in fact its one of my favoruite festivals…But can we not celebrate the festival in a way that is environment friendly? Believe me there are quite a few options one can use to that effect.
In the olden days POP was not popular and the idols were made from Mud (Shadu-a type of Mud). The idols would easily dissolve after immersion in water. These are still available in the market, at a little higher price maybe. Also natural colors can be used to color them.Why not bring home idols made od Mud colored with natural colors??
In our house we don’t bring any idols from the market. We have a beautiful Silver Ganesh murti. Obviously we don’t immerse the idol.After the festival we just move the idol and keep it back in our pooja room..I think that’s the best and most eco friendly option to celebrate the festival.
For those who still insist on using Plaster of Paris idols available and immerse them…the government sets up special tanks at most of the places. Try to immerse these idols in these tanks.
Let us do our bit to save this environment from pollution and celebrate this festival in an eco-friendly manner…I think even lord Ganesh (Ganapati Bappa as we fondly call him) will bless us for that!!!
Best wishes for a Happy, Eco – friendly Ganesh festival……
(I got these photos in my mail.So am not sure of the origin.Thanks to whoever has posted them on the net)