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Is Ganesha Chaturthi a mere celebration or do we really have respect for Lord?
Even before the days long festival, Ganesh Chaturthi ends, you can see Ganesha idols thrown here and there, in an entirely disrespectful manner on river sides, seashores and even in front of small lakes in almost every state. It is saddening how our most-loved Ganesha turns into junk or garbage, just after a week of this widely celebrated Ganesha Chaturhi festival. It is depressing to see that after cheerfully celebrating the festival with dance, loud music and happiness, we throw the idols as soon as the festival ends. Does our sense of devotion and respect come only during festivals and ends with the same?

As per a report, just a day after a vast number of devotees immersed Ganesha idols into the sea in Chennai, over 50 tonnes of garbage was collected from there. According to the officials of Corporation of Chennai and a sanitation firm, 30.5 tonnes of garbage was collected from Foreshore Estate and Pattinapakkam beaches and roads heading to them, and 20 tonnes of waste was gathered from Palkalai Nagar Beach in Palavakkam. This is a report of only one state.

Each year Maharashtrians immerse Ganesha idols into rivers and just within a week, these statues can be seen on the seashores. Reportedly, there are more than 150,000 statues immersed, in Mumbai alone. Well, it is indeed a matter of concern. As per Mumbai municipality law, these idols must be cleaned from the lakes and water bodies before they start reacting with organic matter, but still the concerned authorities overlook it for months. Sad and haunting. Just take a look:


Basically, what we think is, that the ocean will take care of these idols. But the fact is slightly different. Made from Plaster of Paris (PoP) and poisonous paints, these idols are harming and polluting water of the oceans, rivers and even of small lakes, making it poisonous. Sruthi Subbanna, research associate at NGO Environment Support Group says, PoP reduces marine oxygen levels and plaster ensures sulphur, phosphorus and magnesium. Besides, those bright paints are made with heavy metals which are poisonous to all life forms. Thus, it is a deadly practice and we need to act on it immediately.

The another ill part of such festivals is loud music. The noise of loudspeakers becomes unbearable after a certain amount of time. Besides, the question is, how, "Mere photo ko seene se yaar, chipkale saiyaan Fevicol se or Chittiyan Kalaiyan ve" can please deities on the auspicious occasion?

What can be done to avoid such menace:

1. Instead of bringing giant PoP made idols for worship, one can bring eco-friendly, clay-made small-sized idols, that do not harm the environment. Which god will be glad to see his idol lying on the shore?

2. If you are unable to find a place to immerse these idols, look for an alternative. Isn't immersing a same small idol in a clay pot at home a better option? You can later use this soil to plant a tree.

3. Always go for color less idols, or the one's made with natural colors, instead of buying idols painted with deadly colors.

4. Loud music just produces noise and nothing more. Avoid it for the sake of environment!

Respect comes from heart and devotion, not with the size of beautifully painted idols and catchy Bollywood numbers. How can you please God while destroying his own creation with noise and pollution?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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