Ganesh Chaturthi – it is festive, colourful and loud. But it also generates a lot of waste. In fact, Mumbai city generated a whopping 1,083 tonnes of waste around various immersion spots across the city, during the festival. Not a great way for the Elephant god to end his birthday celebrations.
Many groups of Mumbaikars feel the same, with many of them volunteering to clean up after Ganesha. Every day, hundreds of people comb the beaches after the idols have been immersed, collecting puja waste like, used flowers, plastic bags, and idols that have been washed ashore.
Local authorities have been on an over drive, trying to promote an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi through the use of eco-friendly idols and materials. And it seems to be having an effect. These volunteers claim that the amount of waste lying around is less than the previous year.
One can only hope that the example set by these people catches on. Ganesh Chaturthi is a time of devotion, but we must also ensure that in the process, nature is not harmed