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Ganapati visarjan plans: Shri Ganesh Sewa Mandal will ditch the Yamuna for water tubs

Ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja, Delhiites pledge to contribute to The Save Yamuna Campaign by not immersing idols of Gods in it.

delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2017 11:30 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Ganesh Chaturthi,Durga Puja,Delhi
Immersing idols of Ganesha and Durga can certainly add to the pollution in Yamuna river. (Sunil Ghosh / HT Photo)

Year after year, innumerous Ganesha idols are submerged in rivers on Ganesh Chaturthi as a religious practice. This year could be different.

Ahead of the festival on August 25, many aren’t just switching to eco-friendly idols that don’t cause water pollution, but a Delhi-based association will ditch the waterways altogether. Shri Ganesh Sewa Mandal will symbolically submerge Ganesha in a huge tub of water instead of the much-polluted Yamuna river that flows through Delhi.

Founder-president of Shri Ganesh Sewa Mandal, Laxmi Nagar, Mahendra Ladda says, “This is the sixteenth year of our Ganesh Utsav (Dilli Ka Maharaja). We’ve been adopting eco-friendly ways for years, but more needs to be done. On the day of the immersion, Vikas Marg se ITO tak itna bura haal hota hai ki ambulance phi fas jaye to nahi nikal payegi. Bhagwan ye nahi kehte ki mere liye itna pollution karo! And, we all very well know the state that Yamuna is in. So, we decided to save Yamuna and contribute to PM Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission. We will bring out the Shobha Yatra (procession in which Ganesha idol is taken from the pandal to the river) but won’t immerse the idol in the river. Instead, we will immerse a small Ganesh idol in water tubs, outside the pandal.”

They are encouraging neighbourhood committees to submerge their idols in the four water tubs that Shri Ganesh Sewa Mandal will be setting up.

“This one time, Puja committees in Chittaranjan Park dug up the earth outside the pandals and filled it with water for idol immersion. We’ve requested Public Works Department to grant us permission to do something similar, as we, too, don’t want to pollute the Yamuna.” — Abhijit Bose from Arambagh Puja

The idea isn’t exclusive to Ganesh Utsav. Many plan similar eco-friendly steps for Durga Puja (beginning September 26). Abhijit Bose, executive chairman, Arambagh Puja, RK Ashram, says, “Last year, we got a jute idol of Durga Maa made from a national awardee artist, and it was later kept in the museum. This year, we are planning to keep the idol as eco-friendly as possible... This one time, Puja committees in Chittaranjan Park dug up the earth outside the pandals and filled it with water for idol immersion. We’ve requested Public Works Department to grant us permission to do something similar, as we, too, don’t want to pollute the Yamuna. We know that we can’t dig up a public property in the middle of the road, but there can definitely be a way out.”

Individuals, too, are contributing in their way to ensure that festivals don’t add to the already existing environmental concerns. “It isn’t necessary to follow religious rituals if they make us lose our nature,” says Ankur Kapoor, a 26-year-old digital manager, who has been celebrating Ganesh Utsav at his home for five years now. “It’s important to follow traditions, but if we can devise a way to save our environment alongside celebrating our festivals, then why not! I, too, will urge my parents and friends to not to immerse Ganapati in Yamuna this year,” adds Kapoor.

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First Published: Aug 22, 2017 11:30 IST