How about having an eco-friendly Ganesh Festival?Views — By Kadambari on August 29, 2011 at 11:28 AM
Ganesh festival is just round the corner and the entire city is geared up to welcome Ganesha. Pandals are being put up, idols in different size and shapes are being picked up from every nook and corner of the city and the craftsmen are almost done with their finishing touches on the figurines. The dhol and taasha groups are busy perfecting their tunes, halwai are all prepared for the modak orders and the entire city is engrossed to welcome their deity with great awe and respect.
All the 10 days promise excitement and fun. The air is full of divine feeling till the very last day. Hold on a second, did I say divine feeling? Well, it is true when I am home with my idol but I don’t feel the same on the streets. All the mandals these days are more interested in playing all the latest Bollywood and Tollywood numbers. Last year Munni badnam hui was ruling on their play list and this year it’s either Dhinka chika or Character Dhila hai, I guess. These songs, certainly don’t give me any divine feeling, I wonder how does the deity bears them.
The processions are more of making noise and a competition of who plays the loudest music. People dancing during the procession especially on the last day seem to have taken the saying, ‘dance like no one’s watching you’ seriously, as they continue with their vulgar performance in their drunken state.
After the festival ends, take a walk on the river beds and other water bodies and you will find filth and foul smell covering the area. A heap of nirmalya (used flowers) is floating on the rivers. If you go deep in the water, you can also spot the broken Ganpati idols made from Plaster of Paris, which does not dissolve in water but pollutes it. There are several people who struggle to bring few litres of water to their home and here we are polluting the scarce resource. Decades back, several villagers had to abandon their homes, so we have the rivers connected to our city. And we don’t even think twice before polluting it.
Several NGO’s and groups working for environment have been urging people to opt for eco-friendly idols, made out of Shaadu mati and the response has been increasing each year. But the number of people opting for eco-friendly idols is still very low, comparing to the huge population of Pune. People need to unanimously come together and ban using idols made from POP.
Although Ganesh festival brings a lot of joy to the city, it also invites air and water pollution. The festival will end in 10 days but the filth and dirt, which stays back takes several years to decompose. I urge people, to try and follow an eco-friendly way to celebrate the festival.
Let’s all pledge to use eco-friendly idols, if not then opt for PMC tanks to immerse the idol and refrain yourself from polluting the rivers. You shall find volunteers from SWACH group collecting the nirmalya or a huge kalash placed at the various immersion centres.
I hope we all have a safe and fun-filled Ganesh festival. Ganpati Bappa Morya!!!