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Emphasis on 'eco-friendly' Ganesh

Thursday, September 13, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

While over 60 lakh Ganesh idols, including Sarvajanik and households, are estimated to be installed as part of 'Ganeshotsav', a thrust seems to be an eco-friendly celebration of the festival in Maharashtra this year.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is organising a special competition to award “best eco friendly Ganesh” in Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad, for which MPCB officials will be visiting different mandals.  

Continuing “eco-friendly” trend, far away in Khamgaon in Buldhana (Vidarbha district), 'Anand Math Ganeshotsav Mandal' will be distributing 2,100 saplings of plants free of cost to devotees visiting the pandal.

The organisers have also displayed 2,100 replicas of 'eco friendly' Ganesh idols as part of an exhibition.

The mandal has been following this exercise for the last five years. In fact this initiative has been started by a housewife Renuka Varangaonkar, with totally her own efforts.

In Washim (Vidarbha district), the students of the SMC English school, have formed the 'Rashtriya Harita Sena', to advise people to avoid use of idols of plaster of Paris and instead install the idols made of 'Shadu' clay or paper machier. They have also been advising people not to use chemical colours and instead of dumping left over flowers in river, use them to prepare compost. Besides, the students have also prepared pots to enable people to immerse smaller Ganesh idols.

In Pune, since 90 per cent of nearly six lakh idols are of plastic of paris, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to give people “ammonium bi-carbonate” free of cost to immerse idols at home, to avoid them being immersed in rivers.

In Junnar (Pune), Yeola (Nasik) and Kolhapur, the use of Dolby digital sound system has been banned and the police and Ganeshotsav Co-ordination Committees have asked people to play only traditional musical instruments in procession and in pandals.

In Sangli, a huge Ganesh idol has been installed in Darbar Hall of the 'Durg Rajwada' (Royal Palace), under stewardship of Vijaysinh Raje Patwardhan, a lineal descendant of former King Chintamanrao Patwardhan. Here the festival is being celebrated, for nearly 170 years ago, even before Lokmanya Tilak began its public celebration. In the festival people from different walks of life participate.

In Sadvali in Deorukh (Ratnagiri district) the idol installed at the residence of Prof. Ram Ghanekar, has been drawing hoards of curious visitors since the idol blesses devotees with left hand, instead of usual right hand. The idol is known as 'German Ganesh', for the last several years.

In the meanwhile, a sizable number of 'Nashik Dhol' (Drums) troupes have arrived in Mumbai. They are mostly from Pune, which has the largest number dhols in India. They are in great demand during Ganesh festival.

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