Compilation of responses received by Karmayog to Dr. Sangole’s appeal: “Ideas needed for eco-friendly alternatives to Ganpati immersion”
14th September 2007
Dear Mr. Vinay Somani,
We have been carrying out SARVAJANIK ECO-FRIENDLY GANESH VISARJAN since three years by creating artificial wells, at Nana-Nani Park in Pestom Sagar road no06, Chembur.
This has the following benefits
1] Saves the water bodies like lakes and ponds in Mumbai.
2] The eco-system in ponds/lakes is undisturbed
3] Reduction in traffic jams
4] Prevention of Noise, Water & Air pollution
5] Security of senior citizens and children is assured.
We Need suggestions from different people on the following issue:
Routinely all the clay idols get dissolved completely in the well, but the Plaster of Paris idols do not dissolve completely. So with great care and proper rituals we collect these undissolved idols and immerse them into DEEP Sea after the festival is over.
It is my request to you to take up this issue on Karmayog so that we get proper feedback and suggestions from different people whether there is any other ECO-FRIENDLY alternative to immersion in the deep sea without hurting the sentiments of people.
It is very important to protect our oceans too!!!
Dr.Vijay Sangole MBBS
Jt. Secretary PSCF LACG.
From: "Kannan Moudgalya" <kannan@...>
From: Shanti Jagannathan
Thanks. I believe it is also time to begin to lobby and to start whole scale public awareness to PUT AN END to the kind of large sized Ganeshas that are made in toxic and non-dissolvable material and chucked into the waters in many cities of India - including Hyderabad, etc.. This type of behaviour has nothing to do with reverence for the God, or reverence for human life. No spiritual teaching endorses this kind of behaviour. I hope you can get on to that and build a constituency of concerned people and campaign for it.
ROTARY CLUB OF THANE EAST
HELPS TO SAVE ENVIRONMENT
As an alert NGO, Rotary has always done exemplary service to the community and society.
In continuation with their work towards protecting our environment and reducing the pollution they have planned a mega project which will be carried out at the Visarjan Ghat in Thane East and at Masunda Talao in Thane West, with the support of Thane Police and Thane Municipal Corporation during the Ganeshotsav this year, on 16th, 20th & 25th September.
The project will be to discourage the use of Plastic Bags for disposing “Nirmalya” (flowers/garlands removed from the idols just before immersion) and provide the Ganesh Bhaktas with Paper Bags/ Paper Envelops for the same.
Rotary Club of Thane East, are all set to give away 10000 paper bags. Also to make them sensitive towards the noise pollution near the Visarjan area, facilitating the security personnel (Police) to upkeep the law and order situation.
The Commissioner of Police D. Shivanandan, Mayor of Thane Smita Indulkar, The Commissioner of TMC Nandakumar Jantre, and District Governor of Rotary District 3140 Dr. Ulhas Kolhatkar are expected to attend the project and participate in distributing paper bags to the citizens at the immersion spots motivating them to use paper bags instead of polythene bags.
K i s h i n
P r e s i d e n t
Rotary club of Thane east,,
From: Usha Srinivasan
Dear Dr. Sangole
We from Development Alternatives under our CLEAN-India (Community led environment action network) have launched campaigns for celebrations of festivals in an eco freindly way without hurting religeous sentiments. Holi, Diwali, Dussehra and Ganesh Chathurthi to name a few.
For Ganesh Chathurthi, we advise the use of unbaked clay idols coloured with natural colours. Plaster of Paris is very harmful to land and water when immersed in water bodies. Potters are ready to make the unbaked clay idols if people are ready to buy. In Delhi, we have been doing this for the last 5 years through schools and communities.
Before launching the campaigns we discussed the issue with religeous leaders. Please refer to our web site : www.cleanindia.in for details.
Senior Advisor (Environment)
From: AccountAid Team
Thanks for your message. You are probably aware that there are prescribed methods for making divine images, including the material which can be used to make these. This is mostly grass, clay, wood, stone etc. Composite materials like resin, plaster of paris, cement, lime, etc. have not been prescribed. This applies to large as also millions of small images, which are used across India. It would be very good if this information was systematically highlighted among the devoted as they would naturally attach the highest regard to a prescription from the shastra.
Dear Dr Sangole,
Dear Dr. Sangole,
A very happy ganeshotsav to you. I must congratulate you for the commendable job you are doing regarding SARVAJANIK ECO-FRIENDLY GANESH VISARJAN. I am happy that there are people like you who are concerned about the environment and are doing their best to conserve it.
Since you have asked suggestions, I would like to contribute my ideas to the same.
I feel that there is a need to look at the way we celebrate Ganeshutsav in a different light altogether. If it is possible then people must stop immersing idols altogether. While the huge pandals may not find this idea feasible, the home ganeshotsavs can implement it. Instead of buying idols every year and immersing them, every household can buy a metal idol which will last for years and instead of immersing it and waiting it to dissolve (one day, one month or one year) one can just immerse it in water and take it back home and use the same the next year.
I feel that just because some rituals are being followed since time immemorial they need not be followed just for the sake of following. Nowadays, situations have changed, the environmental conditions have changed, and the traffic condtions too have changed.
This idea of mine is not to offend anybody's religious sentiments. It is just a thought and I would love to receive comments on the same.
Thanks and regards
From: Director, Akshaya
Motivate saints to announce that Ganesha doesn't like this drowning and kindly stop this in future and worship the dieties as far as possible in the public place itself.
From: malik sajad
Dear Vijay Sangole,
My opinion is that we should also create a cartoon character (comic or animation) as an idol in festivals and its journey through water, an environment where it will rest. By it we can show whether these idols are happy with us or not, what they see there. Hence conveying the message...
From: G.C. Mathur
The first and foremost advice is that we should use not paints, but natural colours for Ganesh moorti. The moorti should be made of pure earth which could be fired as well for making it stronger. Visarjan of such Moortis will never be against eco system. There will be no need for artificial wells also.
Ur idea of artificial well is excellent. Should continue to encourage CLAY models Indue course same clay could be recycled.
Slowly convert strong harsh music to soft 'sankirtan type Chanting'. the vibrations created by that would be beneficial to participants.Please see the procession last year organised by "Sanatan Sanstha' They will I believe organise it again I
From: Rajal Thaker
WHEN YOU DISPOSE THE PLASTER OF PARIS IDOLS IN DEEP SEA, THE ECOLOGY OF SEA IS AFFECTED TOO..
Dr Rajal Thaker
From: pavan iyengar
For one , you cannot dissolve it in deep sea as it is un ecofriendly!
From: Jyoti Chede
It is nice that you are taking up this important issue .i have been keeping Ganapati for a couple of years.on 10th day instead of going to lake or ocean i immerse my Ganapati idol in a big tub at my home. and let the idol be completly disove in the water .it takes 2 or 3 dayes .then i put this water to plants.the idea is soil become one with soil. this may not a big thing but small effort to support all these causes.
From: binod saharia
USE ONLY BIO DEGRADABLE MATERIALS, ORGANIC COTTON AND ORGANIC PAINTS, AND ORGANIC DYES,
Actually, in Goa, they're trying to move away from plaster-of-paris statues back to clay. --FN
From: "Franz Nahrada" <f.nahrada@...>
From: Shashi Singh
Everyone please use and make products which preserve the natural environment. Material & products to be used for a short time and desposed have to be made bio-degradable. there is no compromise on this issue. Even nature wants to balance and maintain it's equilibrium and for this we need to stop abusing natural resources and preserve the environment.This would be the best way to pay tributes to nature and the Lord almighty.
Consortium Of Women Entrepreneurs Of India
From: ramanand kowta
Hi and Namaste,
I read Dr. Sangole's description of his ' timely initiative ' and a fervent plea for an alternative to the PoP ' problem '.The following article will clarify that ' Naturally Cyclical processes are the basis of Life and Existence ' - Linearisation of which ( out of ecological and social and religious context ) is the cause of the very VIGHNAS - to destroy which we worship the VIGHNA - HARTA ! Re - Cycling is the very basis of Nature and of the traditional lifestyle of the Indian \ Bhaaratwaasi.
Can the PoP idols be converted ( Re-Cycled by pulverising etc...) into something innovative and useful to society - providing some income to a few poor people - till we are able to , hopefully, do away with PoP ?
Our ancient sages formulated rituals, customs, festivals on very sound
Can I have contact details( ph. no. and E Mail ID please ) of the ' good Dr. Sangole ' ? Please feel free to give me a call.
From: Sadhana Kale
Respected Dr. Vijay Sangole, received your mail regarding VISARGAN of Ganesh idol and the interest you have been taking to reduce the pollution, I would like to give my suggestion as under.
1. As far as possible make people alert how it is advisable to purchase clay idols, also write to govt. bodies to make rules while allowing artistes to make clay idols.
2. To avoid pollution, make only one idol in one area. however there should be an alternative for the artistes for their earnings.
Hope my suggetions you would upto your satisfaction.
A few ideas for eco-friendly Ganeshostav
From: Ramesh Parikh
Today I got an email from USA with pictures criticising Hindu practices and showing left over Ganpati idols which floated back on sea shores being moved by a bull dozer. Some of the idols are big and intact. This stains our country's as well as religious feelings apart from creating eco problems.
The best way is for the Govt. to erect strong-perhaps permanent- jettys on sea shores where the idols are immersed and then to load all the idols with a limited nos. of devotees on flat barges and immerse them in deep sea waters.
Such a project will also save lives of persons who get drowned while immersing idols.
The cost of doing this is negligible.
From: Sushil Jain
Most eco-friendly way is through education - wisdom education -
creating awareness on truth, rules of life.
This can be done very effectively by arranging sessions for LACGs, other associations....
From: François-Xavier Hay
Cc: Manisha Gutman
Dear Dr Vijay,
100% aligned on this requirements! it is strongly required to sensitize people on such an issue. And Ganesh Festival is just one of the festivals having a sad impact on mother nature.
In Pune, a new ecofriendly company has just popped up and is particularly answering such issues in a very friendly - sustainable - scalable manner.
Happy EcoFriendly Ganesh Festival
UpLift India Association (Pune)
From: K GP
There should be a BAN ON PLASTER OF PARIS OR PLASTICS>>
Only Clay idols must be allowed
From: "Krishan Mitroo" <kmitroo@...>
Kudos to you guys you have done so much by way of alternatives and truly
very local and environmental friendly moves. I suggest we make a move
towards clay idols and how about paper maiche idols ?
Most important of all is education on the safer alternatives, through TV
Radio and instructions in schools so the young minds too can build up
a distaste for the plaster of paris ones.
From: Nandita Shah
I think this is a good idea, but I think its better to put PoP idols into a land fill rather than kill deep sea marine life.
From: Prakash Karandikar
Greetings for Ganesh Festival !
Anything which is in accordance with the scriptures proves to be ideal and beneficial. If the idol of Lord Ganesh is sculpted as per the science of spirituality, then it gives maximum benefit to those worshipping it. Unfortunately nowadays, idols are made of various forms and shapes based on one's liking and imagination without taking into account the science behind the idol.
Special series of videos and articles on celebrating Ganesh Festival as per science and avoiding Mal Practices during the festival are available at
Please pass on the message to near and dear ones. Let's celebrate Ganesh Festival in ideal way and avoid the malpractices which hurts the Lord!
Video Series (Video commentary is in Marathi):
Jay Sree Ganesh
From: conservation india
Dear Dr Sangole,
I recd a mail from Karamyog and am very impressed by the work the organisation is doing,specially the Ganesh Visarjan under controlled conditions.This is a great example of public participation and community conservation.and can be replicated all over the country.
I take the liberty of sharing some of my views and some work that I do on a public
I work on some of the issues listed out by Karamyog and try to reach out with information and simple solutions thru my programme Earth Matters which is broadcast on National TV network of Door Darshan on every Sunday and repeated on DD News in the evening on Sunday.
Water pollution and the lethal heavy metals in paints used on idols is one of the issues that we have repeatedly emphasized...what ever we put in our rivers and water systems end in our food chain.The heavy metals used in paints have reached our food chain affecting our health and those of our children.Even fish from the ocean have been found to be carrying lead and mercury ...
Alternative ways of reverence and farewell to idols have to be looked at if we are to prevent poisoning ourselves .
and your artificial wells are the best way and a viable solution.
Plastic of Paris is difficult to neutralise and given the number of idols a possible solution that could be looked at is that once the paint has separated from the idols,the flaked off paint can be collected from the wells for processing and safe disposal.The plaster casts of the idols can then be salvaged for reuse . Keeping the sentiments and reverence of millions in mind a viable solution that can be looked at is the construction of a Ganesh Ji Temple in with the recovered plaster mixed with other bonding material.
This could be in area where suitable land or park or community land is available.A nana nani Ganesh Park??
It could go a long way in minimising the amount of heavy metals and other poisonous substances that go in the production of modern paints from reaching our food chain.
Tragic that we have moved to plastic paints, plaster of Paris and aluminium wiring instead of the traditional mud and clay , natural paints and bamboo which were harmless and used to disintegrate on contact with water.
Earth Matters Foundation
New Delhi 110048
From: "Gooloo Khambatta" <gooloo.khambatta@...>
From: AC Boyatkar
PRANPRATISHTHA of idols has great meaning.
Half-dissolved idols made from plaster of paris is not correct .
Person doing SATYANARAYAN POOJA IN FRONT OF IDOLS GET GOOD RESULT BUT IF REMAIN UNDISSOLVED WILL LOSE 100% RESULT.
Clay means MATI. MA means mother AAI & TI stands for shakti. Hence clay idiols are always have power after pranpratisha than of plaster of paris.
After death our body becomes MATI NOT PLASTER OF PARIS.
We must create awareness in people.
Re: Ideas needed for eco-friendly alternatives to Ganpati immersion
From: mani bathija
Since last 3/4 yrs i hv been attending GANAPATI first day festival at ADV., JAYAKARS residence
adv.jaykar has been personally drawing the image of LORD GANAPATI with a chalk n filling the image with rice (RAW) grains n the image of ganapati comes out beautifully
secondly v can hv a big container made out n fill it with water n inform the people to imerse the statue in the container which can b emptied every time interval as the need be n the contains kept in storage in covered area n suitablly destroyed
In regards to the subject matter, the first hand idea come to our mind (not an expert on this subject) are
(with the religious emotion not to be hampered)
1) Size of idols to be restricted, so as to restrict the use of material (quantity), also the huge size damages the overhead wires etc.
2) Area wise restrict the permission to limited mandals. whereby reduces the numbers
3) Use of clay vs plaster of paris as suggested
4) Immersion in artificial wells as suggested
5) The artist to be made licence holder and they to be govern by rules & regularion and guidlines, so as to have a control point.
Why cannot the government ban plaster of paris Idols like it has banned plastic bags?
Also, while clay may be an eco friendly material, it may not be a natural material for the ocean ????
I would appreciate any feedback on this.
Shidhi Vinayak Namo Namah
As far as idea is concerned 'concerning immersion' my personal opinion is one should go in for buying a silver or gold idol as big or as small according to the capacity of the purse/bank balance.
# 1 by doing so there will be total devotion to the diety
# 2 by doing so there will be total emotional attachment
# 3 by offering daily prayer to the same idol on regular basis will enhance the intuition level
# 4 the cofidence level will be high
# 5 there will be every scope for making the idol big and bigger every year by adding more gold or silver as the case may be
# 6 I believe this will add more peace, more unity in the family system and above all bring all members of the family together and at one place during puja
# 7 the huge spending will also get minimised and the money collected can be used for development
# 8 the PROSPERITY level will rise
# 9 the POLLUTION level will come to a naught
# 10 there will be only flowers and nature's product for immersion and can be easily recycled.
Hope my ideas do not hurts the sacred feelings of the millions and millions of people.
Let Sidhi Vinayak be with us for PEACE, PROSPERITY, PROGRESS
Shidhi Vinayak Namo Namah
Re:Ideas needed for eco-friendly alternatives to Ganpati immersion
Would it not be possible for the BMC to create artificial pools (like the inflatable swimming pools) at places of
immersion and encourage the public to immerse the small idols at least in these pools instead of the ocean / natural lakes etc.??
From: V Narayan
Ecofriendly immersion has become popular around our area due to good work done by Dr Sangole and his team from the Pestom Sagar forum.
Next item on the agenda is to motivate citizens to use CLAY IDOLS with ecofriendly vegetable colors.It will dissolve and the water can be used for watering plants. We intent to identify the source and help the citizens in procuring.
From: Samavedana Samavedana
Deep seas may no longer remain deep in the long run. We are putting so many things into it.
Can we not recycle POP? Any medium to dissolve it & remould?
Any research? any solution?
Recd your mail and are happy to know that people are aware of eco-friendly Ganesh Visarjan. This is just for your info that we run a worshop for the autistic and mentally challenged young adults at Mahalaxmi, Mumbai. We make eco-friendly, biodegradable patraveli plates and bowls which are very useful during festivals. You can contact us at 23513735/23524463 for more details.
For:Shraddha Charitable Trust
Workshop for the autistic and mentally challenged
From: BharatJanVigyan Jatha
Dear Dr Sangole,
Very interesting work.
This reminds me, some 10 years ago, a group of children working for their National Children's Sc. project (of which I was the national convenor then), worked on this problem in Thane, and worked out intersting solution after proper study.
I am copying this mail to the maharashtra coordinator Shri Surendra Dighe, who helped in that work thru their orgn. JIDNYASA. Hopefully, they can connect with your effort and something good can come out.
S. Dutta - Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha
Dr.Vijay Sangole MBBS
Jt. Secretary PSCF LACG
We appreciate ur awareness & efforts.
Frankly speaking steps should b taken to diisuade people from going in for huge idols in the first place.
Idols made of plaster of Paris do not dissolve in water but also the chemicals used in colours endanger the flora and fauna of any water source including the sea like the aquatic plants and fish and other living organisms in water.
So stop immersion in the sea.
As per Vedanta idol after uttar pooja has no sanctity whatsoever. It is akin to a human body sans life.
People instead should be persuaded to opt for idols made of silver or pancha dhatu that need not be immersed. Instead a coconut or supari could be immersed that easily decompose.
One of the classic examples of Visarjan ruin is Talao Pali of Thane whose depth is now 9 ft against 19 ft. originally. 10 ft. is all plaster of Paris debris. Let the same be not the fate off all water bodies in our city.
We haveno right to kill life at the cost of worship.
From: Bajaj Kiran
The idol should be small and 100% eco friendly then it can be immersed in the deep sea.
From: Joyce C
THANK U VERY MUCH FOR YR CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!!!!!!
From: Ramani P.H.Subramanian
Dear Dr. Vijay Singh:
This year at Srirang Society, Thane west, where a large artificial pool was created for Ganesh Visarjan which proved beneficial to all the citizens of Thane.
I do not personally agree with the lessening of the noise pollution which was visible with lot of band bazaa. What was heartening to see that separate dust bins were provided to dump the flowers and other paraphernalia accompanied with the visarjan. We appreciate the eco-friendly steps being iniitiated under your dynamic direction.
Thane does not boast idols of the size of Lalbaug Raja // Bhandup Raja and hence I am unable to contribute towards your query of plaster of paris getting undissolved , collecting these idols and dumping them at the deep sea. I personally feel, Govt should come out with clarity on these environmental issues to safeguard our environment on collective front rather than miniscule associations / group of persons coming together for this noble cause.
Subramanian - 98211 21708
From: Nidhi Pundhir
I very much appreciate this initiative of yours. At a personal level I have always wondered if any one is studying the impact of these year after year Ganpati / Durga ma visarjanas. On one hand these are some of the social customs which bring people together and crucial from cultural perspective, on the other hand there is an environment caution. I congratulate you for taking a step further in this regard.
Technical Advisor Child Rights
Plan International (India)
From: Maya Mahajan
Its really a good initiative. You may tell people the source of eco-friendly idols ie made up of clay, coconut, or paper. You may find some artist who supplies clay idols. We need to Say No to Plaster of Paris idols. Instead of immersing PP idols into sea, we may use the same idols in the next year after painting them.
Pls see the attachment for wider circulation
Thanks and regards
Dr. Maya Mahajan
Godrej Mangrove Centre
From: Dinesh Kochrekar
More and More Ganpati Mandals figures are increasing, will be very difficult to handle the situation in future.
1. We need to stop giving new permissions to Ganpati Mandals.
2. Also need to take some charges from all Ganpati mandals to clean the Lakes and ponds.
3. As we have stop manufacturing plastic bags need to stop making Plaster of Paris idols we have to do advertising for the same wihtout hurting sentiments of people.
hi! this is a very noble concern.i was wondering if idols can be made of recyclable stuff or clay only..can't there be a state order to ban usage of plaster of paris in creating idols or celebrate on colony basis only.
with due regards to religious sentiments, some hard decisions too are to be taken in the interest of limiting factors. one such is stop/ban manufacture of Plaster of Paris idols. saying stop pujan of Plaster of Paris idols would arouse sentiments.
One of the ways is to have a permanent idol and not have visarjan at all. The same idol can be used every year...The visarjan can be replaced by simply community functions/get togethers..After all community participaytion and our own faith is what counts.
this is an important and difficult job. Hindus pollute with ganesha's owing to a lack of awareness and also because they feel that there are no such curbs on Muslims. the fact that the environment that we live in is more important than religion must be drilled into children from a very early age.
the good news is that a lot of the younger generation believe in protecting the environment- making smaller ganesh's etc. they must now come into decision making positions.
a tougher but shorter way is to educate politicians.
rammohan rao e
Its nice to know your great efforts on retaining the spirutual / culturual values without compromising on the eco system. If one would go back, the entire system was a system that is in tune with nature ie they have used clay and that is dissolved automatically.Now with this POP things become complex.... So what do we say? Go back to older tradition ? or retain the modern POP but yet work around? ..Well i guess your question would be using POP and still work around. :)...if we could go to the old systems, things becomes simple... Are we interested? :)
Good work and pls continue the good work.:)
From: Vineeta Shetty
The idea needs to penetrate to the grassroots that Ganesha represents our own cellular structure, in fact he was created out of the skin that sloughed off Parvati's body. It is an abomination to build him out of materials that do not return him to his origins so he returns the next year. Calls for some astute public messages from concerned bodies.
It is very sensitive and important issue.
This year we have decided not to build idols and we have installed only paper photographs which we can immerse after the festival is over. Paper is fast degrading and less harmful. And all these rituals are symbolic so there should not be any problem is people of good moral and sensitive to ecology come together and let common man know about the problems faced by such massive immersions.
Or all idols should be made of clay only and no other material should be allowed as this is only for 10 days with us.
This are my personal views.
Dr Vikram Patel
Dear Dr. Vijay Sangole,
Congratulations for the great work for helping save nature and thereby our mother earth. I suggest that the collected undissolved Idol parts should be handed over to the Idol makers who can utilise it may be after some kind of processing them. The recycling thus would prevent them going in the sea. They might be happy to get the raw material for their work. Only question is if it is possible at all to process it them making them suitable for reuse. Can some one suggest if it is possible?
dr. divya mithel
Hello Doctor ,
This indeed is a good idea .What we really need is awareness among citizens for such initiatives.
Once this idea is implemented by one samiti rest will feel an obligation to follow this. Traffic ease , pollution control and well managed festivals are need of the hour.
Dear Mr Vijay
From: kanu somany
Is it possible to try and create awareness instead about the use of PoP and toxic paints, and go back to using traditional clay idols?
Awareness may take time and effort to create, but the diwali crackers have greatly reduced over the years with schools taking up the issue with children at an impressionable age.
Only long term solution...
We sincerely thank U & appreciate yr line of action in respect of eco -friendly immersions of Ganapati, specially yr very considerate efforts to collect the undissolved idols of Ganapati , then take them to the deep sea for immersions after Ganeshotsav.
U are doing a mo0st commendable job for the entire humanity in this way.
Please keep it up !
Rgds/ S C Gupta.
tel : 982 05 876 09
The objective is laudable. Difficulty arises because of people's belief and their ignorance about the need to preserve clean air and clean water. In Calcutta and suburbs, idols are made of clay and the structure is made of bamboo and straw. After immersion the structure is recollected by people, who sell them to artisans for reuse of some kind. Straw gets dissolved with time, but still causes pollution and damage to aqualife when idols are immersed in ponds and lakes, i.e., non-flowing water, in inland areas. But the real culprit are the inorganic chemicals that are used in making dyes and paints. These even cause pollution in the rivers and seas.
I have one suggestion. I understand that technology is known to obtain colouring compounds (pigments and dyes) from flowers and vegetables. I am given to understand that these are made out of waste flowers collected from temples and markets, and hence not only these compounds are bio-degradable but their use is safe for human skins, etc. While it may not be possible for this technology to multiply fast and make available so much quantity of pigments and dyes, with time and with proper financial backing and technological research-cum-development it should be possible to switch over nearly hundred percent over a period of time. Use of flowers will also help in checking pollution as these are normally dumped and allowed to rot. I have tried to make some entrepreneurs interested in using organic colours, but have failed so far.
Dear Dr.Vijay Sangole,
It is indeed a very nice thought, I may be wrong but people should be charged a very huge amount to immerse in the sea and if they do the immersions in the temp. tanks then it is absolutely free. This would help a bit and these temp. tanks should be placed at the beach only. The govt. should also levy a huge tax on statues made of plaster of paris and the ones made of clay should be tax free. Those whose statues are of clay should be allowed to immerse in the sea at no cost.
I again say that I may be wrong but again we are just trying to think so that we do not hurt peoples sentiments and simultaneously save the environment.
RgdsGirish S. Kabra
Physically able or disabled, we are all the same on the inside. All of us have similar aspirations and expectations from life, but what makes us different is the way we live our life. What makes us different is the attitude with which we play this game called life.
From: Raqshita Mehta
agree wholeheartedly with you..
From: Rustom Dadabhoy
Even if plastic sheets are used to line these so called artificial water bodies, there is bound to be leakages into the ground thereby forming leachate and contamination of ground water. The toxic paints used for these idols are water/oil based and can only harm the ground condition.
From: Surendra Dighe
It's really nice to hear Eco friendly ganpati festival from all corners of the society. We have started this movement on the basis of a science project, undertaken by our child scientists in 1997. this project was basically for National children Science Congress, a nation wide program of NCSTC Network. the findings of the project were published, and the child scientists were honored at Indian Science Congress. The main conclusion was that the Ganpati idols are made of POP which is a non degradable material. due to immersion of Ganpati idols tons of POP drooped in the lake which ultimately affect the lake and it's aquatic biodiversity. On the basis of this project, Jidnyasa Trust had started social movement,and after nearly ten years peoples have accepted this fact.
Our solution is not to immersed the idols at all. One can worshiped the idols,and then can kept in ones home only. this movement is done only through students and we are getting more and more support for this.
making of a clay idols or immersion in Artificial lake or ponds are soft options which will not serve the purpose in long term.
For further detail you can visit our sight www.jidnyasa.org.in
Jidnyasa Trust Thane
2, Jayanand Society,
M. G. Road, Naupada,
Thane - 400 602
Telefax - 022-2540 3857
visit to our site
This is what I think:
One way would be to show slides of 'broken limbs' of the Ganesha Idols that are washed ashore -- over Television,on Railway Platforms, on a continous basis till the Immersion day and on Big sceens at Immersion sites on immersion days. Appeal to the religious sentiments of the people and request them to buy only small idols made of Mud.
The other alternative is to educate the people to have Ganpati NOT made out of plaster of Paris. My 7 years old son insisted to have a eco friendly Ganpati this year. We searched around and had a Ganpati made from clay, paper and vegetable dyes colours. There was no difference that one could make out. I am told this type of idol take just 30 minutes to mingle with the environment rather than 2 year which plaster of paris takes.
The path is difficult but the way is to educate the children in schools so that they insist to their parents to bring ecofriendly Ganpatis - not made out of plaster of paris in their homes.
Re: Ideas needed for eco-friendly alternatives to Ganpati immersion
Every year, during the beginning of the festive season, groups concerned
This year, make sure that your Ganesh idol does not damage the natural environment.
ECoexist brings you completely biodegradable idols, made using natural clay and painted with natural materials such as multani mitti, geroo and turmeric. These idols have been hand sculpted by the traditional Ganesh sculptors in Pen, Maharashtra. They have been brought to you by eCoexist, whose aim is to develop eco sensitive products through socially sensitive means.
To take a look at the 15 varieties that we have prepared this year go to www.e-coexist.com
Here is a video showing how natural clay Ganesh idols are made...
Place your order well in advance
It is our belief in God that inspires us to bring Ganeshji at home and
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has issued several guidelines on how to celebrate an environmentally friendly Ganpati festival.
- Suggested Code of Conduct for Environment friendly immersion of idols (pdf) - http://www.karmayog.org/redirect/strred.asp?docId=9895
- MPCB also undertakes "Monitoring of Nosie Pollution during Ganesh Festival". Report for the year 2006 is at http://www.karmayog.org/redirect/strred.asp?docId=9896
If a regulatory body such as MPCB has already issued guidelines on use of materials, size of idols, appropriate waste disposal methods, noise pollution levels, etc. why are these not being followed?
It appears that the implementing agencies such as the BMC and Police are unable to enforce the rules applicable, because of lack of awareness and support from the public.
Similarly, an institute such as National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), that is a premier research and academic institute in the field of environmental engineering should publicly state the correct scientific facts with recommendations for people / Government to follow so that minimum harm is done to the environment while we celebrate our festivals.
Individual scientists, environmentalists, experts, etc. must also publicly state the scientifically correct view, so that more people are made aware of the harms of celebrating festivals that pollute our world, so that people voluntarily decide to adopt eco-friendly alternatives.
Great Initiative. Congratulations
I feel you should try this initiative in other parts of the country especially with the staring of the festive season
From: N B H K
In Karnataka some towns, people have started using Lord Ganapati idols without any colour or Chemical used, only made of earth which is eco-friendly and can be immersed anywhere. It will not affect wells, lakes, rivers, sea.
Soluble colors ad material to be used so that after immersion, these will get dissolved i the water.
The time for ostentatious public display of religious sentiment has passed. All of us need to confine our religious beliefs and practices within the confines of our homes and not bring it to the streets, where it causes tremendous inconvenience to others.
With specific reference to the current Ganesh festival, it is my humble submission that times have changed since Lokmanya Tilak used this occasion to bring people together. He was a great person and no doubt his tactics worked in his era.
The situation at present, however, is vastly different. Right from the manner of collection of funds that borders on extortion, the blocking of roads by the pandals and compounding the already chaotic traffic, the loud music (?) blaring through multiple speakers with scant regards to sensitive eardrums, the crowds where eve-teasers, molesters and pick-pockets have a field day and the overall trouble to the public in general, make this (and other such festivals) grossly outdated.
When floods and other natural calamities ravage our nation, when farmers continue to commit suicide, when hunger and poverty roll on rampantly, do we really need the luxury of fancy lighting and wasteful expenditure?
Let us celebrate Ganesha festival in our homes, with eco-friendly papier-mache idols and genuine devotion to the supreme being.
Pune - 411 032
Phone: 020-27172068 or 9422314642
Dear shri Dr. Vijay Sangole,
Your method of Ganesh idol immersion is laudable. I congratulate you.
In the original scriptures it was stated the idol of Ganesh is to be made of mud. In the modern times it is made of plaster of paris. All the Gannesh mandal are to be requested to install
only mud idols of Ganesh.
Eco-friendly visarjan: Senior citizens lead the way
question on the ganpati immersion issue
even if artificial wells are used to dissolve the POP idols so that the lakes and seas are kept clean, what happens to the semi-dissolved POP that gets collected in the artificial wells? Where is this eventually thrown - and it must be quite a large quantity?
For very large and complex statues, why we can not Reuse or exchange Shri Ganpati within various sarvajanilk association in Mumbai. Why do we have immerse the murti, why we can not donate Shri Ganeshji to various schoopls in Mumbai or entire Bharat? We can come with many good ideas. We can solve every problem with a good scientific approaches. Jay Bharat. Jay Hind. Jay Ganeshji. Jay Maharashtra. Jay eco-friendly people. "In God we trust" so we must pray.
Waste Wizard turns discarded stuff into Ganpatis
Publication:Mumbai Mirror; Date:Sep 21, 2007; Section:City; Page Number:8
Green signal for Ganesh devotees
City slums go eco-friendly, spread environmental awareness
Pestom Sagar keeps eco-flag flying
TOI - Ahmedabad Edition - Dt 28th Sept 2007 Page 5
Surat NGO’s eco message works
(end of 92 responses)