Punekars of all ages bid an ecofriendly adieu to Lord Ganesha | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Punekars of all ages bid an ecofriendly adieu to Lord Ganesha

This also comes in support of PMC’s ecofriendly drive of installing 163 artificial water tanks at various locations for the immersion.

pune Updated: Sep 06, 2017 23:39 IST
Ananya Barua
Around 2.19 lakh idols were immersed in artificial tanks as compared to 2.05 lakh last year.
Around 2.19 lakh idols were immersed in artificial tanks as compared to 2.05 lakh last year. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

This year, Pune saw its residents of all ages choosing artificial tanks over rivers during the Ganesh immersion procession. Around 2.19 lakh idols were immersed in artificial tanks as compared to 2.05 lakh last year. This also comes in support of PMC’s ecofriendly drive of installing 163 artificial water tanks at various locations for the immersion.

“Every year, we make an ecofriendly Ganesh as it’s good for the nature,” exclaimed six-year-old Khwahish Ladha. She along with her 10-year-old sister, Tanishka had sculpted two Ganesh idols that they had come to immerse in the artificial tanks. “Our principal had specifically asked us to make clay Ganesh idols. Immersing idols in river water will harm fishes and us too, so our mother informed us that artificial tanks are the best way to immerse Ganesh idols,” Tanishka said.

Following the positive trend, nine-year-old Sai Avinash Nashikar along with his sister Swara, excitedly entered the immersion ghat holding his tiny Ganesh idol close to him. He was proud to have painted it on his own and had made ornamental additions of a clay headgear and a sword. When asked where he would immerse the idol, he said he would follow his family and immerse it in the artificial tanks. “Our house had a big Ganesh idol also made of shadu (clay), which we are immersing in the tank and not the river. My small Ganesha will also go in the tank because I don’t want to harm the environment. I know that after all these idols dissolve, these people will collect the nirmalya and recycle it,” Sai Avinash said.

On another ghat, 64-year-old Geeta Damle, shared how she welcomed a shadu (clay) Ganesh idol in order to protect the environment. At the immersion ghat, she and her family chose to immerse the idol in artificial tanks, stating, “This is the first year we have brought Bappa to our home and we wanted to do so in a positive way, without any harmful consequences and so we got the clay idol. While saying goodbye to him, immersing the idol in the artificial tanks would ensure no pollution is caused to the environment, which is dear to God himself. This is the most auspicious way of conducting the visarjan (immersion).”

In addition to clay idols, many Punekars were also immersing PoP idols into the artificial tanks. Resident of Pulachi wadi, Chetan Shinde shared, “I do not know the technical complexities of what is good or what is bad for the environment. Different people say different things, but I just know that putting anything in the river pollutes it and so, I do not want to be a part of it. The best alternative is to put it in these tanks.”

Some residents also decided to hold the immersion ceremony within their homes and societies. 45-year-old businessman, Rajeev Singh, a Vimannagar resident shared, “We have been immersing our Ganesh idol in the society lawn for the past five years now. We get a big vessel and fill water in it and immerse both society the idol and individual home idols in it. Within hours it dissolves, which is then sprinkled into the lawn again. From soil into the soil. The decorations which are biodegradable are put into compost pits.”

Sandeep Ramesh Khomne, vice president of Saswad- based NGO, Global Trust, which was assisting PMC in spreading awareness against river immersion and collecting nirmalya for recycling, said, “This year, almost 50 per cent immersions have been conducted in artificial tanks and it is a phenomenal increase than last year.”

According to the PMC data, a total of 32,489 immersions had been done on the ghats. Further, in order to continue being ecofriendly without immersion, as much as 2,873 donations were made.