Peacock with two peahens at Delhi
Peacock with two peahens at Delhi

Most of us wait eagerly for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival as Lord Ganesh is believed to keep away all of us from the hardships of life and brings prosperity to the whole family.
Many of us who have gone through Hindu mythology and birth of Lord Ganesha would have heard that Ganesha was created out of mud and sweat of Maa Parvati and kept on the gate to guard the house where she lived. But in the present era, when we celebrate his coming on the earth and his departure from here, he would be thinking why the people create so much pollution be it environmental pollution or sound pollution.

As per tradition only clay idols were to be worshipped and immersed in water. But with changing times, Plaster of Paris idols painted with chemical and synthetic paints have become a common trend which does not dissolve in water. Further the materials used reduces the oxygen level in the pond, lake, river or the sea where they are immersed and kills the fishes and other aquatic species effecting the marine ecosystem.

Ganpati visarjan at Mumbai

Some of you may be aware that in 2004 Madras High Court ruled that immersion of Ganesha Idols is unlawful as chemicals used in its making pollutes the sea water. Later on State of Goa banned the sale of Ganesha made out of Plaster of Paris and promoted the idols made of traditional clay. Since the festival is not only celebrated in Maharashtra alone but in many other states such as Delhi, U.P, Bihar, Chhatissgarh, Madhya Pradesh too, It is high time we all take necessary steps to work together to have eco friendly celebrations..

It is also pertinent to mention that when the festival got started by Lok Manya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in fag end of 19th century(in 1894 ) the idols were much smaller. However over the years due to commercial, political, competition among the local people and exhibitionist tendencies not only the size of the idols kept on increasing but also every household started getting their individual idol rather than a common one in their community which ultimately leads to more pressure on the environment.

Ganpati visarjan at Mumbai
Ganpati visarjan at Mumbai

Let us take a clue from the phrase “Small is Beautiful”. Secondly let us celebrate the festival in as much traditional and natural way as possible in complete harmony with nature. For the last few years, many innovative ideas are coming up to have completely green festival. For eg. Ganesha idols made with natural colours and filled with veg fish food, Tree Ganesha with seeds which after immersion in a pot blooms into lovely plants etc.. One can try any of the creative ideas or you can simply opt for the traditional clay ganpati idols with natural colours and immerse them in a bucket at your own place and use the same water in your garden…

Let us all pledge to celebrate Eco friendly Ganesh Chaturthi which will not help us to save the environment but also our future…

On 26th of August 2017 while I was shooting courtship of peacock in the heart of Delhi, I found a situation where peacock was flanked by two peahen and both of them showed interest in him. After I realised that this is the perfect representation of Lord Ganesha with his two consorts namely Riddhi and Siddhi.

Images from Delhi and Mumbai taken in the month of August and September 2017.

This year Ganesh Pooja is beginning on 13th September and Visarjan is on 23rd September.

Happy Ganeshaotsav to all in advance .

About Vinod Goel

He joined Customs & Central Excise service in 1982. As a civil servant, his job takes him to various parts of India, which gave him an opportunity to capture our wild heritage, through his camera. His passion for wildlife photography started in 2004 when he was posted at Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and this passion continues till today.