One of the most endearing of all Hindu festivals is Ganesh Chaturthi, wherein we celebrate the birthday of this beloved deity. We bring him into our homes with utmost warmth and bid him farewell on the day of the Visarjan.
But the aftermath is shocking!
The main purpose of the festival seems to be forgotten as days later the broken idols of Ganeshji crowd the shores of the city. They are then gathered by a bulldozer and crushed!
Where’s the reverence? What happened to the respect the deity was showered with days ago only to be left in broken parts in the dirt? All this, only because people prefer to use the lesser expensive POP than a natural material devoid of chemicals that would dissolve in water in the first place?
Use eco-friendly idols that are made of natural materials. Most favourable are paper and unbaked clay. Additionally, it is better it choose a smaller idol in the first place. Bigger idols require more effort and take more time to dissolve in water after immersion.
Give Thermocol and plastic a ditch and opt for ‘greener’ options. One can make use of paper and flowers. One can also stick with keeping the decor to a bare minimum, i.e., diya, incense and flowers. Moreover, it is better to use products that can be recycled.
Avoid an idol fabricated in synthetic paints at all costs. Many a time colours used on idols are pigmented with lead, mercury, etc. that is detrimental to human health as well as aquatic life. Use vegetable dyes or other organic materials that are not hazardous.
Collect the flowers and garlands used during the festival and keep them in compost (you could simple dig one in the groun). You can use this to fertilize your garden. In this way you make the best out of waste. Or, you could deposit the Nirmalya in the huge containers provided for the same by the government.
The idol of Lord Ganesh can be immersed in the pond or a large bucket. Use an idol that is small in size. If using a POP idol, one can just drizzle a little water on the idol which is suggestive of the Visarjan ritual. Moreover, sometimes people use a stone or metal idol. After immersing these idols for a period of time, they are then removed and kept safely for next year.
Keep the loudspeaker to a minimum, so that it does not contribute to noise pollution. And what better way than observing the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi with some tranquillity rather than explosive music that blasts through the speakers.
Go Green to Save the Blue
Festivals are not a license to destroy the environment. Where’s my Pandit cares about you spiritually as well as for environmental safety. Go Green this year and book an eco-friendly idol with us. It is never too late.