Paryavarana Margadarsi Vaisakhi – Awareness Campaign on the importance of clay idols making and hazards to nature with POP Ganesha idols..
It is a good practice to make Ganesh idols with clay idols made with plaster of Paris are harmful to environment as well as water resources. Usage of POP is not a good practice. It is the time for us to think about our role in environmental protection by taking small steps.
Many people worship idols these days and the idols made of harmful and synthetic colors are harmful as per the norms of central pollution control board (CPCB) guidelines. The CPCB has proposed way to combat these situations long back in 2010. They suggest that the usage of POP idols should be stopped immediately and the idols should be made of biodegradable materials.
Even while submerging clay idols, all the ornaments on the idols must be removed. One should not pollute the water bodies in such a way and people should be warned of such hazards. So these guidelines for idol immersion should be followed. From 2006 onwards, the civic authorities in Pune have been preparing small tanks across the city for the immersion of idols to prevent pollution in water bodies. The implementation of Noise pollution rules -2000 should be done during the festivals.
The Plaster of Paris idols contain metals like gypsum, sulphur, phosphorous, magnesium and artificial colors contain mercury, lead, cadmium and carbon. The heavy metals used in preparation also badly affect our nervous system and kidneys. When the idols made of artificial and synthetic colors are submerged in water bodies, the heavy metals leach into the water and from there to humans finally leading to ill health. So we need to stop usage of decorative POP idols and go for clay idols which are eco friendly. The usage of plastic during the festivals should also be reduced. We need to think of minimizing the usage of plastic as much as possible.
The usage of clay idols can also provide Eco friendly livelihood to traditional artisans and potters by improving their skills and generate income.
This year we have come forward with a new concept of improving medicinal plants along with clay idols. The concept of seed Ganesha or Eco Ganesha is very much useful for the improvement of 21 types of medicinal plants used during Vinayaka chaturthi. There are fruit bearing trees like Mango, Pomegranate medicinal herbs like Tulasi, Vishnukranta, Worm wood flowering plants like Bauhinia, Needle Jasmine,Glory flowers and aromatic herbs like Majoram,Tulasi,Aandijara are some of the varieties included in the 21 medicinal plants. The seeds from these trees or plants are kept in the clay Ganesha idols after the worship and celebration the idols can be immerse in our own garden, so that these medicinal plants sprout and develop.
As the clay used for the idol is fertile soil and seeds kept in them will sprout and grow with good health. Not only these seed plants we can keep the seeds of any flowering or fruit bearing trees /plants in these clay idols.