Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most celebrated festivals in Mumbai. As a child-welcoming Bappa, as we lovingly call him, was one of the most awaited festivals of the year. Visiting the beautifully decorated pandals with different themes every year and savouring the modak was my most favourite part of the festival.
Like all festivals come to an end the 10th-day visarjan brought a dull feeling inside. As children, we used to go and stand on the road or watch from our terrace the Ganesh Visarjan throughout the day. Post Visarjan, visuals of the broken moorti’s being washed away, the dead fish and all the dirt pricked me in my heart however, I did not know what could be done. In the recent past, many have taken cognizance of this fact and have come up with eco-friendly and sustainable options at our disposal.
Every year there is an increase in the number of people buying Ganesh idols however, call it lack of awareness or our slackness we don’t want to see the damage the chemical loaded idols are doing to our Mother Nature. Today we have options – we just need to make the RIGHT choice.
Hard Fact – Did you know that Ganesh idols made with POP could float for many years?
Most of the Ganesh idols are made of Plaster of Paris (POP), plastic and cement. POP is not a naturally occurring material. It contains calcium sulfate hemihydrate along with sulphur, magnesium and phosphorus. Such idols take a longer duration for complete dissolution so they float. Calcium sulfate hemihydrate reduces the oxygen level in the water which kills fishes and other aquatic animals. Slowly this chemical is poisoning the water body ecosystem.
Hard Fact – Colours aren’t beautiful always.
The chemical paints used to adorn the Ganpati idol contains mercury, lead, cadmium etc which increases the heavy metal content of the water bodies causing damage to the ecosystem.
Hard Fact – Add-ons are equally damaging.
The decorative material used contains plastic, POP, thermocol, which are not eco-friendly options that suffocate aquatic life causing pollution. The flowers and the puja material are thrown away in the water, comes ashore. Organic materials like flowers also exhaust the oxygen in the water for decomposition. Post visarjan, the site of the beaches are not worth seeing, you kind of walk on the flowers and puja materials you worshipped the idol with.
Hard Fact – Our future is insecure.
With all this water pollution, do you think we remain unaffected. The fishes we eat or the seafood don’t you think will contain all these toxic ingredients. The pollution will surely enter our homes because the source of water is one.
Think about our future generations –
What kind of problems they will have to face?
What kind of legacy we want to leave behind for them?
They will think we used up all the natural resources to leave behind pollution and a fight for survival for them, do we want this?
We still have things in our hand can’t we CHANGE our MINDSET?
What can we do?
- Go for greener and sustainable options. There are clay idols made with natural paints which work the best. These can be immersed at home and the water can be used for the plants or we have options of growing plants from our idols – sounds amazing right.
- Shadu clay or paper idols also use chemical paints which aren’t completely eco-friendly. The decorative diamonds and all the stones aren’t sustainable options.
- Use Biodegradable options instead of plastic, thermacol etc. Fabric or paper flowers, natural flowers are the best, things which won’t hurt our mother nature.
- Use Metal idols which can be reused.
- All the flowers can be used in our plants as organic fertiliser instead of been thrown away in the water bodies.
- Purchase stuff which can be reused for longer periods.
We want our Bappa to be the best, what he wants is our devotion and love. I am sure the happiness on our faces when the idol comes home is what he cherishes and the tears of love when we immerse is what he takes along with him.
We always say life never gives us a chance to make a change, we have many we just need to start making them.
I hope I am able to bring a change in the mindset of all the people reading this blog – its my heartfelt sincere request – MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE THIS GANESH CHATURTHI AND ALWAYS.
As for me – Gannu Bappa I am waiting for your Aagman 😊
‘This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter‘