The Gowri-Ganesha habba is here

The city-sights are colorful and the floral fragrances, pleasant. The Gowri-Ganesha habba is celebrated with a huge fervor in our city. Tomorrow is the Gowri festival and the day after is the Ganesha festival.

Ganesha and Gowri idols sold in the city

Traditionally, the Ganesha idol was sculpted out of earth, worshiped, and returned to the Earth by immersing it in a nearby water body. With the use of Plaster of Paris and chemical paints on the increase, the water bodies bear the brunt of the idol immersions. Plaster takes much longer to dissolve and in the process of dissolution releases toxic elements into the water body. The chemical paints used to adorn these plaster idols contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. These toxins and metals harm the aquatic life of the water bodies where the idols are immersed. The deposited toxins affect the ground water too. So, what can we do?

We can buy idols made of natural clay. And if we do use a painted idol, like the ones in the picture above, please let’s immerse the idol in a bucket of water at home. And pour the dissolved contents amongst the plants at home.
Let’s not immerse plaster idols, but recycle and use them again the following year.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has made elaborate arrangements for the immersion of Ganesha idols in old and newly added areas. Please read here to see what has been planned for your neighborhood. Let’s co-operate with the BBMP and do what is asked of us.

Here’s wishing you all a very happy Gowri-Ganesha!

PS: Usha had appealed to MB readers last year and had included many more points. Please read it here.

2 Comments so far

  1. Nisarga (unregistered) on September 13th, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

    Such a noble concern and many people are airing this concern,

  2. Meera (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

    The Hindu reported about the Craft Council of Karnataka promoting eco-friendly Ganeshas.
    DH has also been reporting on the festival preparations. But I couldn’t find any contact info or address where such idols can be bought. Ofcourse I see my favourite plain clay Ganesha hidden in some corner in the roadside shops with the snazzy shiny gaudily painted ones hogging the limelight.
    EcoExist has beautiful clay versions in Pune & Mumbai. But where does one get Ganeshas painted with vegetable dyes in Bangalore?

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