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Ecofriendly Ganesh - a beginning


As we adopt modern lifestyle we have been using things manufactured in factories using modern technologies. The biggest impact of industrialization is on environment and we have adopted it due to fast paced life. The impact has also been on cultural and religious values.
   Even on the name of god people have been impacting environment by multiple ways. This has also been a part of Ganapati festival. During Ganapati festival, the idol is made from plaster of Paris (PoP). PoP is not environment friendly as it does not get dissolved in water. Loud music is played at public places resulting sound pollution. Firecrackers increase air pollution. Colors used during immersion procession are also not environment friendly. Electrical decoration and loud music adds to power wastage.
Another aspect is size of the idol. Many people prefer bigger idols and I wonder how does it matter? When I was a kid, immersion used to be done in a local water well. Everyone used to take extra caution not to immerse anything other than idol to keep water clean. I am still not sure why do we waste so many cusecs of water just for immersion. Hideous music is being played at high volumes for the procession of god. This is all because there are viewers, listeners and sponsors. Sponsorship of cigarette and alcohol companies is being accepted and I wonder, what’s the purpose?
Beyond this, the idols being sold come from China, even firecrackers come from China, electrical decoration comes from China! People prefer them as these are less expensive.
Considering the impact, this year we decided to make our own Ganesh idol from soil and paint it with ecofriendly colors. My wife attended a session to learn the basics of Ganesh idol making. It has been a fun activity and everyone at home enjoyed it very much. It also took me to my childhood when most of the people used to make their own idols using local soil. We also decided not to immerse it in water but to keep it in home.
      Few years back I met Ms. Kiran Bedi. Someone asked her how this country can change if only one person behaves appropriately. I liked her answer. She said "It is one less person misbehaving and also 1 more person behaving righteously." By looking at one person others get courage and encouragement to behave righteously. This way the count increases exponentially. She gave her own example to explain the point.
      Lord Ganesh is prayed while beginning every new thing so we thought of creating ecofriendly Ganesh to begin ecofriendly lifestyle.
       Good news is day by day awareness is increasing and more and more people are adopting ecofriendly life style by their own way. This time at least 3 of my friends and family members made ecofriendly Ganesh and at least 3 more like the idea. Some of my friends have bought ecofriendly car. Most of us are using solar water heaters. I have been using it for last 12 years and convinced at least 10 more people to switch. I am going to present few more ideas in coming posts about ecofriendly life in modern world so stay tuned and keep visiting. I am sure all of you also want to save environment and live better life. Isn't it?


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