Monday, September 15, 2008
ganesha goes green
today is the last day of the ten day long ganesha festival. as usual ganeshas will be submerged and a tearful farewell given to the lord with the crowd chanting in full throat -"ganpati bappa mourya, putcha varsha parat ya". the remover of obstacles,one whose blessings are invoked before any auspicious thing is started, lord siva and goddess parvati's intelligent son and the most popular deity among hindu gods and one who is well known internationally for his elephant face will be immersed in the waters and eagerly awaited till the next year.
when "aum ganeshaya namah" is chanted, we are saying let wisdom prevail in what we do. wisdom seems to have dawned finally.there was a difference in the celebrations this year. in the past, the repercussions of celebrating ganesha festival without caring for the environment was so visible.however, this year,thanks to the zeal of environmentalists,there was a marked change in people's attitude and there was an awareness and concern to perform the festival with minmum damage to the environment.
pop(plaster of paris) idols release co2 reducing the oxygen level in the water and harm marine life. the paints on the idols further aggravate the damage.water bodies being sources of drinking water at many places get poisoned by the paint and deposition of floral offerings. there were many organisations which made their celebrations eco-friendly. some recycled all ganesh offerings. others created artificial ponds for immersion of ganesha idols. some made the idols from paper pulp. newspaper and mud mixed together.the newspaper acts as a binder.then with the pulp and use of hands the idol is made.painting is done with natural colours extracted out of turmeric and mud.some made ganapati out of clay.some even had silver ganapati idols and immersed them in a bucket of water and wiped them clean.to be kept in a safe place to be brought out the following year.some even ran workshops to educate people on keeping the festival ecofriendly. about 20,000 ganesha idols were made by school children using mud and vegetable dyes.
the bmc set up a website www.ecoganapati.com jointly with fropper.com to provide details of ecofriendly ganeshas,location of artificial immersion ponds and other ways of celebrating the festival in a green manner. e-coexist.com promoted sales of eco-friendly ganesha idols. there will be a cleanlilessness drive,the website said with students and fropper.com members on the coastal front to clean up the mess.
a god who refused to marry because he felt no woman was more beautiful than his mother. a god whom no woman wanted to marry because he had an elephant head. said to have two wives though-riddhi and siddhi.material propsperity and intellectual growth.a god whose every part has deep meaning and significance. his trunk,his large ears,his third hand,his singular tusk and whose posture of sitting on a rat with one foot on the ground and the other resting on his knee convey esoteric meanings.
our beloved ganesha has now become an e-god.the obstacle remover has brought wisdom to the people.let us hope this movement picks up and that ganeshas pollute less and make the environment greener and more greener.