Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with much fervour across the country, especially in Mumbai. Preparation for the 10-day festival begins much in advance and pandals are decorated gorgeously. But this is not the only tale Chembur resident T V Sudhakar narrates about the festival in the maximum city. Growing up in the Mahabubnagar district of Telangana, T V Sudhakar, used to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly way every year until 1994, the year he shifted to Mumbai to work for the Reserve Bank of India. Known for celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in all its fanfare, Sudhakar recalls his shock when it was difficult for him to get hold of someone who makes eco-friendly Ganesha idols.
T V Sudhakar is the Senior Executive Vice-President and Head Compliance at Kotak Mahindra Bank. It was only in 2017 he managed to meet an idol-maker in Matunga who procures eco-friendly idols from Chennai and sells them in Mumbai. It was after over two decades he was happy to install an eco-friendly idol in his home. This was when he decided to pay back to Mother Earth by promoting eco-friendly idols in 2018 by distributing 1,000 clay idols of Lord Ganesha in Mumbai and Hyderabad each, this Ganesh Chaturthi.
Speaking to The Free Press Journal about his initiative to promote eco-friendly Ganesha, T V Sudhakar says, “I used to stay at RBI residential quarters in Prabhadevi. Every year on the next day of visarjan we used to witness a very pathetic situation like idols coming on the shore and BMC picking them and throwing them away. So by doing this all the devotion ultimately we are not achieving anything and by immersing the idols we are killing the waterbody. I thought if at least household Ganpatis go eco-friendly there will be a lot of protection for water bodies.” Not just idols, he also distributes tulsi plant to the devotees. “In January I placed the order for 1,000 idols and shared the information through various platforms. All the idols have arrived and people have started collecting them. So what I am doing is along with the idols I am also giving tulsi sapling. So the immersion can be carried at home and the water can be put in the tulsi plant,” adds Sudhakar. He has shelled over Rs 3 lakh from his own to conserve the Mother Nature. After the success of the first edition of the initiative, he now plans to distribute 10,000 idols for free in 2019.
The Mumbai resident has one message to share with fellow Mumbaikars, “Everyone should try to protect the environment and by using clay idols which will not only save the environment but protect your devotion.”
To know more about the initiative. Click here.