The chants “Ganpati Bappa Morya, Mangalmurti Morya!” echo far and wide while the devotees welcome their favourite Lord to their homes every year during ‘Ganeshotsav’. This festival is rejoiced with much pomp and gaiety in India and also around the globe with equal enthusiasm. As the festival nears to an end, the devotees, with heavy hearts, bid farewell to Lord Ganesh by immersing the idols in lakes or rivers.
Created from non-degradable material like plaster of Paris or cement, and heavily decorated with toxic paint and jewellery, these countless idols prove to be of significant harm to our eco-system.Most people often forget the hazardous impact on the environment caused by these harmful substances. Since these idols do not dissolve easily, they conveniently mount up as waste in the sea, thus endangering the marine ecology.
To eradicate this issue, ‘Shree Aniruddha Aadesh Pathak’ initiated a project of making eco-friendly Ganesh idols. Under this initiative, the idols are strictly made of paper-pulp, clay, other bio-degradable material and non-toxic colours. The paper-pulp is made out of Ramnaam books which are written and deposited by the shraddhavans in the ‘Aniruddha’s Universal Bank of Ramnaam’. Every paper that goes in the making has Ram’s name inked on it. These idols dissolve within six hours on immersion in water and are absolutely harmless to the environment. Moreover, they are light and easy to handle.
Workshops are organised for interested volunteers who are trained by the experts. They are taught how to create the pulp. Consequently, they learn to make the eco-friendly idols by using the mould. They learn to paint and shade it before giving the finishing touch.
Our organisation has received appreciation from various quarters for this initiative:
- A ‘Letter of Appreciation’ for three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012 by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (or MBMC) under its ‘Go Green Campaign’ and ‘Environment-Friendly Ganpati’ initiatives.
- Awarded the ‘Times Special Green Ganpati Award’ in 2009 by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Mumbai Mirror Association and Times Red Cell.
- Felicitated in 2008 by the Mayor of Mumbai, Dr Shubha Raul, at an exhibition organised at the National Institute for Training in Industrial Engineering (NITIE) in Powai.