Ahead of Maharashtra’s biggest festival, city-based environmentalists and experts in pollution effects have appealed Mumbaikars to go green with Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Activists have said that using clay idols instead of idols made with POP help curb water pollution.
Environmentalist and director of NGO Vanashakti, Stalin Dayanand said that one needs to celebrate this festival in a responsible way to keep the environment pollution-free. Stalin also maintained that traditional customs imply immersing Ganpati idols within the courtyard of their homes and not in water bodies.
“Many households in Maharashtra make idols from clay at home. This is the ideal way to celebrate the festival and keep the environment free from pollution,” Stalin told Free Press Journal. He said PoP used in making the idols impacts water bodies, further leading to clogging of drainage networks.
“The oxygen level in water bodies falls after PoP idols painted with chemicals are immersed in them. As a result, fish start swimming towards the land which leads to their death,” Stalin said.
Environmentalist Sumaira Abdulali, who has been raising awareness about the effects of noise pollution, said with time awareness amongst people has increased.
“Last year, due to the lockdown, the noise pollution level in the city during Ganpati festival was relatively low. Other than certain pockets of the city, the decibel level was relatively low throughout the city,” Abdulali told FPJ.
Zoru Bhathena, another city-based environmentalist, said that due to the lockdown the pollution level in water bodies was relatively low last year. “The primary idea of any religion is to preserve the environment; we pay our offerings to the water and it should be prevented from getting polluted,” Bhathena said.