User:Dr. Pradnya Lokhande

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Good afternoon......... Duniya......

User:Dr.Pradnya Lokhande Dr Sujata Dhopte

Sudha rajendra Today is: 18, February 2020. UTC/GMT Time is: 17:01 JIM Manish Swastik Sudha Gopa rashmi premal Madhuri Priti Rajesh Ptekale Sameena Nileshgawde Akshata Apurva krishnakant shruti Roopa Sanam Khan hds Manisha MEHUL Jeevan aparna Shalini ganesh {{Infobox personal |Name = [math]\mathcal{Dr. pradnya Lokhande}[/math] |Email = pradnya.ash@gmail.com |Employer = Bhavan's College, Mumbai

|Occupation = Faculty Chemistry

|Nationality = Indian


Love Ganpati - Ban PoP

(PoP - Plaster of Paris )

Every year in Maharashtra, an estimated 150 million Ganesh idols are immersed in lakes, rivers and the sea during the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The most serious impact of the festival on the environment is due to the immersion of idols made of Plaster of Paris into lakes, rivers and the sea. When an idol made of Plaster of Paris is immersed in the water, it changes form to gypsum, thus adding a large amount of material to the water that breaks down very slowly, while adding to the hardness of water, both of which deteriorate the life carrying capacity and quality of the water thereby causing irreversible environmental effects on the coastal ecology or the eco-system of any water body, which in turn causes adverse environmental effects. Plaster is a man-made material, easier to mould, lighter and less expensive than clay. However, plaster is non-biodegradable, and insoluble in water. In terms of health impacts, paints are a greater source of hazard and most of those used for decorating idols are chemical-based. Moreover, the chemical paints used to adorn these plaster idols themselves contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium and lead, causing water pollution, which are neurotoxin (nerve poison) and nephrotoxin (poison to kidneys). Acidity of water is also found to rise sharply. These metals are bio-accumulative, meaning that once they enter marine life forms like fish; they pass through the food chain and end up in making the fish poisonous to the birds, animals, and people that eat them. Incidentally, the brighter the colour, the greater is its toxicity. Red, blue, orange and green colours are known to have higher content of mercury, zinc oxide, chromium and lead which seep into the water as the idol dissolves. Also, on immersion, non-biodegradable accessories that originally adorned the idol accumulate in the layers of sand on the beach. Traditionally, the idol was sculpted out of mud taken from nearby one’s home. After the festival, it was returned to the Earth by immersing it in a nearby water body. This cycle was meant to represent the cycle of creation and dissolution in Nature. However, as the production of Ganesh idols on a commercial basis grew, the earthen or natural clay (shaadu maati in Marathi and banka matti in Telugu) was replaced by Plaster of Paris. While idols made out of naturally occurring clay (shaadu in Marathi) dissolve within hours of immersion in water, Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols may take anywhere between several months to years to fully dissolve. For some years now we have been observing a growing awareness about the water pollution caused by the immersion of Ganesh idols made out of Plaster of Paris, in natural water bodies such as lakes, rivers and the sea. Studies by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and scientists show a sharp rise in content of heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium in waterbodies following idol immersions during Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja festivals which endanger aquatic life. One should prepare the Ganesh idol from china clay or mud. Nowadays, idols are made from plaster of Paris so that they become light weight and more attractive. There is a difference between idols made from mud and plaster of Paris. There are references in the Purâns (Mythological texts) that Ganapati was created from grime. Hence it is appropriate to use a Ganesh idol made of mud for ritualistic worship. The pure spiritual particles (pavitraks) of Ganapati get attracted to a greater extent towards an idol made of mud than to that made of plaster of Paris. The following points shall illustrate how it is improper as well as harmful to make idols from plaster of Paris or from substances other than clay.  Plaster of Paris does not dissolve easily in water and hence the idol floats on water after immersion. Sometimes in cities, the remains of idols which have not dissolved in water for a long period are collected and a bulldozer is run over them to convert them into mud. This amounts to extreme denigration of the deity. The deity should be offered the same reverence when immersing it as when it is invoked. Since the idol is not immersed properly, in a way it amounts to dishonouring the deity.  Besides the use of Bulldozers to run over the collected parts of Ganesh idols, the workers unceremoniously collect and drag the parts of immersed idols! Will Lord ever bless the devotee (?) doing worship that hurts Lord himself and results in extreme insult? (Please look at the Image attached!)  To be able to choose the most appropriate ecosensitive solution it is important that we understand the environmental impacts of Ganesh Chaturthi. Since the main issue around water pollution has got to do with the idol immersion ritual, several people are now suggesting a slight variation of this ritual to avoid water pollute. Possible solutions : Several non-governmental and governmental bodies have been addressing this issue. Amongst the solutions proposed are as follows: • Sculpture an idol only from china clay or mud • Return to the traditional use of natural clay idols 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 idols to repaint them and use them again the following year. • Ban on the immersion of plaster idols into lakes, rivers and the sea. • Encouraging people to immerse the idols in tanks of water rather than in natural water bodies.


In the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Radio Jaagriti, the leading Hindu radio station in the country, has actively educated the public of the environmental implications of the use of plaster of Paris murtis. Clay Lord Ganeshas have been encouraged to be used for immersion into the water courses to prevent any harmful environmental impacts. Ganesh Chaturthi is a widely celebrated Hindu Festival in Trinidad and Tobago. In Goa, the sale of Ganesh idols made from Plaster of Paris (PoP) is banned by the State Government. People are urged to buy traditional clay idols made by artisans. Goa is the only state in the country where a total ban on PoP idols has not met with a hostile reaction from the artisan community. Any person found manufacturing, transporting, stocking and selling or displaying such idols shall be punishable in terms of Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act,1986 and their licences granted to them for the establishments/‘chitrashallas’ shall be cancelled and the idols made of PoP shall be confiscated, said the government order.The ban is renewable annually and has been in force for five years now. Recently there have been new initiatives sponsored by some state governments to produce clay Ganesha idols. Why should we wait for the government to ban the use of PoP for idol making ? If we love Ganpati , we, on our own should ban the use of PoP.