Green Ganesha Campaign By Council for Green Revolution for a greener world and sustainable developmentWith all earnestness, I would like to introduce Council for Green Revolution; a five year old environmental organization based at Hyderabad, India has been working dedicatedly on environmental protection and sustainable development. We began our journey on Earth Day 2010 and CGR is instrumental in planting 2.2 million saplings in semi-arid south India. We are taking forward a green mission for a greener world through various innovative initiatives. With the green motive, CGR has been in the pursuit of promoting environmentalism in all walks of our lives. CGR wants to spread environment-friendly message in all festivals recognize and reward eco-friendly measures undertaken by individual households, societies.
Lord Ganesha is considered to be the God of success and prosperity and also the god of nature owing to his origin. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great pomp and zeal We all enthusiastically participate in the celebrations bring home an idol of Lord Ganesha and worship it for a period of 10 days or less. We erect pandals in colonies, neighbourhood areas and keep Ganpati statues and idols for public Darshan following which they immerse the idol in water during Ganesh Visarjan.
However, after the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi and immersion of the idols; the seas, rivers and lakes are often left dirty and polluted, harming all water creatures and mother earth. These are some of the ways by which the celebrations, immersions and rituals are causing harm to the environment. There are thousands of Ganesh idols which are worshipped at pandals and in households. Ever increased Ganesh idols in modern times are contributing to serious environmental pollution.
Following are the ecological implications…
1. Plaster of Paris (POP) Idols:
Plaster of Paris (POP) is one of the most common elements used to create the Ganesha idols. POP is not a natural occurring material; hence it takes a lot of time to dissolve. It is made from gypsum. It can even take several months or years to dissolve completely.
2. Chemical Dyes and Colours:
the chemical dyes used to paint these idols are also harmful as they result inwater pollution. The chemical paints on the idols contain poisonous and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, etc. which enter the water as the idol dissolves and harm water life.
3. Water Contamination after the immersions, water bodies such as oceans, seas, lakes, etc. are left highly contaminated. Along with the idols, several other items are immersed in the water such as banana leaves and coconuts making the water dirty and impure. Items used for decoration are also dumped into the seas and other water bodies.
4. Reduced Oxygen Levels: The toxic and heavy paints from the idols form a layer on the water surface which increases acidic content of the water and deprives fish and other aquatic animals of oxygen. That is why, many fish are found dead and floating on the surface of the water on the day after Ganesh immersions.
5. Siltation of water bodies: With a huge volume of immersion idols every year many small to medium water bodies are silted debilitating the storage, infiltration and usage potential.
6. Noise Pollution: Its fine with a low volume devotional music but heavy noice throughout the periods causes health risks to people in the neighbourhood especially for old, children, week and sick.
7. Others: Accidents, traffic Congestion & other unforeseen incidents.
Green Ganesh Chaturthi
CGR aspires to educate spreading awareness about the impact of our lifestyle on the delicate ecosystem. The need of the hour is to contribute in every possible manner to conserve the environment and ensure that we are able to maintain the natural resources. Youth being torchbearers of our country, need to secure their future by undertaking environment friendly celebrations for a sustainable future.
We urge our young adults to take this initiative further and ensure a truly grand and eco-friendly Ganeshotsav. Youngsters have the enthusiasm to make a change. Celeberate Lord Ganesha the god of nature in an Eco-friendly Manner. Following are the measures shard by CGR for a green Ganesh festival
1. Eco-friendly Ganesha Idols: One can buy eco-friendly idols for celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. Clay idols dissolve immediately in the water, greatly lessening or completely preventing water pollution. The eco friendly Ganesh idols made from mud have lot of importance through rituals and for our environment. These Ganesh idols dissolve in water in not more than 10 hours. It is said that Ganesh Mud idols attracts more pure spiritual particles known as “Pavitraks” of Lord Ganesh. You can immerse it in a bucket at home also. If you are keen on buying POP idols, then you sprinkle a few drops of water symbolically and give it for recycling. Many people also use metal, stone or wooden idols and symbolically immerse it by placing it under water and then removing it and reusing the same idol every year.
2. Avoid using chemical paints containing harmful colours and dyes. Instead use natural colours such as turmeric, gheru, multani mitti, etc. for idols.
3. Don’t use materials like thermocol or plastics for decoration which are not degradable and which do not dissolve in water. Instead you can use biodegradable items like plain paper or colored paper for decorations.
4. Remove flowers, garlands, clothes, plastic and other decoration items before immersing the idols. Distribute food items like coconuts and fruits to the poor.
5. Make a compost of all the biodegradable items including flowers, etc. Flowers can be mixed with the soil which will help the plants in your garden.
6. Take safety precautions to avoid freak accidents during the processions or at the sea-shore.
7. Avoid or minimize use of loudspeakers because it causes noise pollution.
8. Spread the message of nature friendly celebrations
9. Celebrate by planting trees in the community
10. Use all nature friendly material throughout the celebrations
Celebrating the Ganesh festival is not about how big your idol is or how expensive your decoration is. It is not about a display of wealth or showing off. Rather, it is about the religious sentiment, emotion and feelings in your heart. One should celebrate and enjoy the festival without causing damage to the environment. All devotees of Lord Ganesha can continue celebrating the festival but they should take care to not affect the environment adversely. This Ganesh Chaturthi, let’s all pledge to celebrate the great Elephant God in an eco-friendly manner. Read on to know how you can celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly manner.
CGR reaches out to everybody and encourages participation. CGR will also recognize and reward eco-friendly measures undertaken by individual households, societies and Ganesh mandals. Please send your green ganesha initiative and photos for the purpose
Wishing you all a happy and an eco-friendly Ganesh Chathurthi