The 10-day festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on a grand scale in Maharashtra every year. But, unfortunately, the increase in pollution that follows the immersion of the idols at the end of the festivities has also become an annual ritual. While it is believed that with immersion, Lord Ganesha returns to Mount Kailash, an unpleasant photo of the scattered remains of the idols and other puja paraphernalia littered on the beaches greets Mumbai every year.
Actress Sonali Bendre shared a worrisome picture of Juhu beach on her social media handles this morning. She wrote, "After yesterday’s visarjan... If these are not signs of damage we are causing then I don’t know what are! This cannot happen we need to do better!"
This happens every year despite efforts by the government and several celebrities to raise awareness on the use of eco-friendly Ganesha idols. In fact, Sonali herself shared a picture from her eco-friendly Ganesh utsav this year. She wrote, "Once again, we’ve taken the route of bringing an eco-friendly Ganesha & we’ll also immerse the Lord in our home 🙏🏻 May this Ganesh Chaturthi bring health, happiness and new beginnings to everyone, and may we all have the strength to overcome the obstacles that come our way.
सर्वांना गणेश चतुर्थीच्या शुभेच्छा. 😄 गणपती बाप्पा मोरया."
A few days ago, PM Narendra Modi also urged people to avoid throwing plastic and other waste materials into the sea while immersing the idols. “This time we have to try that these materials which increase pollution are not immersed in water," he added.
Sonali's tweet encouraged responses from many devotees who care for the environment and celebrated the festival in an eco-friendly manner. Take a look at some of the replies she got:
We had eco friendly visarjan 😊later it will be treated with chemical and flower pots will be made from it . Which will be distributed in schools 💫 pic.twitter.com/dDBbauIE5Y— ★🇰🇪🇩🇦🇷 🇸🇭🇮🇳🇩🇪★ (@kedarshinde7676) September 9, 2019
I have made eco friendly ganapati at home. pic.twitter.com/u5FBslzx3O— Ajay Raut (@iamaraut) September 10, 2019