Artificial ponds have made him a green heroUpdated: Sep 13, 2019 20:20 IST
Pune: For 25-year-old Vijay Aswani, it was the multiple videos on the Internet and social media about the adverse effects that immersion of idols cause on the environment and marine life in water bodies that attracted him towards artificial ponds for immersion of household Ganpati idols.
The resident of Vaibhavnagar area in Pimpri and his family, who are into construction business, have made three artificial tanks. Devotees from his neighbourhood and nearby places have praised his efforts and used the facility for immersion.
“We had set up artificial tanks last year also and 9,000 household idols were immersed. The figure will rise this year though we are yet to count,” said Aswani.
“I wished to do something to protect the environment and my father agreed to this idea. We plan to cover more areas in future,” he said.
Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Cooperation provided water and electricity facilities to the family for their eco-friendly initiative.
To clean ponds
The Aswani family sets up the artificial ponds on day 1 of Ganpati celebrations and carry out cleaning exercise after immersion. “We put ammonium bicarbonate in the ponds to allow idols made of plaster of Paris (PoP) to dissolve. The dissolution takes 15-20 days,” Aswani said. The sludge formed after using the chemical and cleaning up the ponds is used to make flower pots.
“We mix cement and sand with sludge and make flower pots. The pots are distributed to Ganesh mandals. This year, we are donating it to Jai Hind School in Pimpri,” he said.
First Published: Sep 13, 2019 20:20 IST