Ganesh Utsav, a 10 day celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesha, one of the most anticipated festivals in the country, is just around the corner! The festival, which involves installation of ganesh idols, along with decorative items like pandals, flowers and other items, culminates into the immersion of the idol on the last day, which signifies the return of the Lord to Mount Kailasha.
While the festival continues to be immensely popular among the followers, which spans multiple states of the country, there is growing sense of responsible celebration that has emerged over the years. All aspects of the festivities, from bringing the idol home to decorating it and the immersion, have witnessed people tweak the way they would approach these.
This is because the festival is also a source of water pollution, from the chemicals and paints from the idols like Plaster of Paris, which is also insoluble in water bodies, which cause tremendous damage to the marine ecosystem. There have been reports of rising acid and toxicity levels in water bodies, in addition to the increasing levels of metal ore content, which can cause permanent hazard and leave a long-term damage to life on Earth, including human lives.
The need of the hour is to celebrate festivals, and everything they represent to us, while ensuring that it doesn’t come at the cost of the environment. There are various ways in which we can do that, including making our own ganpati idols from clay to minimizing the decoration or using eco-friendly items for the same. There are several artificial ponds that are created for immersion so as to avoid direct pollution of the marine flora and fauna.
We at ConnectFor had recently celebrated Ganesh Utsav with children from the Salaam Balak Trust. We had done this in collaboration with employees from DBS Bank, who helped the kids make beautiful idols from clay and also sang and danced to popular songs played during the festival, along with an informative session on the importance of the festival.
Here’s an extensive list of ways in which you can celebrate the festival in an environment-friendly manner from United Way of Mumbai: