This year's Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai is more eco-friendly.
Traditionally, clay was used to make the Ganesha idols. Over the years, plaster of paris and dyes containing toxic chemicals like mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead and carbon have been used.
Plastic & thermocol accessories used to decorate the idols are not biodegradable, hence toxic. These are also immersed in water.
After immersion of idols, the rise in acidity and toxins in water kill the plant and animal life in the water. Dead fish is washed ashore Mumbai beaches after the festival.
Contamination of water is worse and unimaginable in lakes and ponds. People using water polluted by the immersions can experience lung infection and diseases of skin, blood and eyes.
This year, artificial ponds and huge concrete water tanks have been made for the purpose, and people are being encouraged to immerse their idols here. NGO's are spreading awareness about environment-friendly Ganesha idols, and the idol makers are being encouraged to make the idols using paper pulp, which will be totally harmless for fish.
All we need to have is the determination to go green, along with preserving the sanctity of tradition.