Free Press Journal

Restoring lost glory of idols abandoned on Chaityabhoomi shores


Photo by BL SONI

Mumbai : Murtidan, is a unique initiative by Dadar beach clean-up volunteers comprising a young group of students, to care for and provide a proper place for abandoned idols found on the Chaityabhoomi seashore.

Malhar Kalambe, an environmentalist and founder of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) ‘Beach Please’, who carries out beach-cleaning at Dadar seashore every weekend along with others, said during clean-up they usually find abandoned idols which have been immersed in water, and are later washed ashore.

“When these idols are kept at home they are properly cared for. But when immersed in water, they return to the shores. Those idols which are broken are immersed back into the sea and those that are just in need of minor repairs are restored and gifted to people or to those temples which are ready to accept them,” he said.

A few days ago, volunteers had found a two-feet Shivling made of marble. The idol is now under restoration and once complete, will be gifted to whoever is ready to accept its care. The initiative only aims to restore the abandoned idols found at the seashore. As Chaityabhoomi is a religious place, more idols are found here than on other Mumbai beaches, he added.

So far, the beach clean-up volunteers have successfully managed to remove 360 tonnes of garbage from the shore stretch. Funds are required to continue the beach clean-up drive, which are now being raised through social media platforms.

Volunteers are provided gloves and other necessary gear, including a first aid kit, for emergencies. “But the money spent on these comes from our pockets. Therefore, funds must be raised to continue the cause,” he added.