Mumbai: At the awards ceremony held on November 2 at the Y B Chavan Centre to honour the winners of FPJ’s Eco Ganesha BMC Award 2023, the recipients and jury members expressed their determination to continue the movement for an eco-friendly Ganeshotsav.
Now in its fourth year, the awards recognize Ganpati mandals and families who bravely adopt eco-friendly practices during the festivities, breaking away from environmentally damaging trends. FPJ partnered with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to promote this idea. Support also came from Indian Oil, Red FM 93.3, and the print media partners, Navshakti.
Emminent personalites grace the occasion
The evening began with the lighting of the lamp by special guests, including actors Ajinkya Deo and Smita Gondkar, BMC’s Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ramakant Biradar, FPJ Director Abhishek Karnani, and Raju Mishra, Director of Sir J J College of Architecture.
Biradar praised FPJ’s campaign to promote the concept of an eco-friendly Ganeshotsav, emphasizing the need for more families, pandals, and sculptors to embrace these practices. He mentioned BMC’s efforts to create artificial immersion ponds, reducing contamination of natural water bodies.
Deo, recalling his childhood in Juhu, expressed his dismay at the careless immersion of idols in the sea and lauded the initiative. Gondkar commended FPJ’s social initiatives, while Mishra, a jury member, highlighted the growth in the awards’ scope and popularity. He emphasized the recognition given to efforts using innovation and design to create a more eco-friendly festival atmosphere.
BMC Choice Award to Pradeep Pednekar
A total of 21 awards were presented across four categories, including household Ganpatis and community pandals. The prestigious BMC Choice Award went to Pradeep Pednekar, a retired BEST employee from Ghatkopar, who designed a Ganesh tableau using environmentally degradable materials like cardboard and paper. The Ganesha idol at his home was made of clay, a material known for its eco-friendliness as it degrades swiftly in water without releasing harmful toxins. His tableau featured a medical emergency center under a flyover on a highway, offering accessible aid to injured motorists during emergencies.