This year Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi was celebrated with great pomp and show!
The grandeur of the festivities and the eccentric spirit can make anyone awestruck. Lord Ganesha is revered in all parts of India and hence this festival is celebrated nation-wide. This festival is celebrated to honor the birth of Lord Ganesha, the god of success and prosperity.
Mammoth idols of Lord Ganesha are installed in colorful pandals adorned with colorful lights and beautiful decorations. The idol is worshipped for ten days and immersed in water with the belief that the Lord returns to his abode.
Even though this festival is marked with great pomp and fervor, the environmental effects of the festivities are grave. These idols are made of Plaster of Paris which doesn’t disintegrate and pollutes the water bodies. Also, the paints used contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. The acidity of water increases and results in reduced oxygen levels. This pollutes the water bodies and severely affects the marine life.
To protect the environment from such harsh effects, nature enthusiasts and the Government have gone the extra mile to spread awareness.
Taking a cue from the same, the Go Green Committee of NIT Raipur organized ‘Green Ganesha’ this year – a clay idol making competition organized with the aim of increasing awareness regarding eco-friendly celebrations. Many children from various schools and colleges participated in this event.
Instead of POP idols with metal paints, clay idols with natural paints were produced. This year, other additions to the eco-friendly idol bandwagon are ones which have seeds in it and on immersion, the seeds germinate.
Also, people are opting for metal and wooden idols. These idols can be symbolically immersed in small tanks and can be reused next year.
Smaller idols should be used since large idols are difficult to immerse and require huge amounts of clay. To prevent pollution of water bodies, artificial tanks can be used for immersion of idols. Instead of plastic, decorations made of paper, cloth, wool etc. can be used. In some localities, the bio-degradable items are used to make compost. Leftover food can be distributed instead of being thrown.
Large amounts of electricity are consumed during these ten days. Switch on lights only when necessary. Traditional lights can be replaced with fluorescent lights. Avoid playing loud music which causes noise pollution. Low sounding instruments like tabla, mridangam, manjeera can be used.
After all, the spirit of a festival doesn’t lie in the grandeur but the devotion and sentiments towards it. Let’s go green this year!
Photo Courtesy: Click Club – the official photography club of NIT Raipur. Guided by Dr. Sanyal, Click Club polishes budding talents in the field of photography.
Author Courtesy: Ruchita Tamgadge – Almost a Graduate, A writing enthusiast, Loves coffee and novels and driven by wanderlust.