The most serious impact of the Ganesh festival on the natural environment is due to the immersion of icons made of Plaster of Paris into lakes, rivers and the sea. Traditionally, the Ganesh icon was sculpted out of earth taken from nearby one’s home. After worshipping the divinity in this earth icon, it was returned back to the Earth by immersing it in a nearby water body. This cycle represented the cycle of creation and dissolution in Nature.
On the final day of the Ganesh festival thousands of plaster icons are immersed into water bodies by devotees. These increase the level of acidity in the water and the content of heavy metals. The day after the immersion, shoals of dead fish can be seen floating on the surface of the water body as a result of this sudden increase.
• Return to the traditional use of natural clay icons and immerse the icon in a bucket of water at home.
• Use of a permanent icon made of stone and brass, used every year and a symbolic immersion only.
• Recycling of plaster icons to repaint them and use them again the following year.
• Ban on the immersion of plaster icons into lakes, rivers and the sea.
• Creative use of other biodegradable materials such as paper Mache to create Ganesh icons.
Free distribution of 50,000 clay idols of Ganesh
The Tree Guard Foundation in association with Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board is distributing 50,000 clay Ganesh idols from Tuesday at Tree Guard Foundation office, KPHB Colony, according to a press release from the foundation here.
For further information contact Foundation President Dora Raju on 90007 73399.