Eco-friendly Chovoth mov gains momentum

PTI, PANAJI | 04 September 2010 13:19 IST

Environmentalists in Goa have began campaigning for an eco-friendly Ganesh festival in the coastal state this year.

With Ganeshotsav getting increasingly modern and detrimental to the environment, green minds have started convincing people to celebrate an 'Eco-Chaturthi'.

The five-day long festival devoted to the elephant-headed deity will be celebrated in almost all the Hindu households and several public places in the state from September 11.

"The traditional festival is getting a modern outlook and with that the environment is taking a beating," environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar said.

He said green NGOs in the state have began efforts to give eco-touch to this festival so that the levels of noise, air and water pollution during the celebrations is reduced drastically.

Almost all the Hindu households in Goa worship Ganesh for two, five or eleven days. Later the idol is immersed in the nearby water bodies.

"This is a time for home coming as people who have settled in urban areas return to their native but are not bothered about the environment as they want the celebrations to be grand," Kerkar said.

The environmentalist residing in state's Keri village bordering Mhadei wildlife sanctuary said Ganesh idols made of unbaked natural clay, natural fiber and recycled paper will lessen the pollution.

"Ensure that the dyes used to colour the idols are organic or vegetable in origin. The stress on the use of earthen or clay idols embellished by vegetable dyes is a symbolic way of displaying environment-friendliness in religion," he said in an appeal to the people.

The Goa government has banned sale of Plaster of Paris Idols, which usually float in the water bodies and create nuisance.

The state-run Handicraft Corporation has launched a special subsidy scheme for the artisans who carve clay Idols.

Goa Handicrafts Rural and Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (GHRSSIDC) Chairman Sameer Salgaocar said that this year around 500 artisans have applied for the subsidy.

The Corporation had distributed cash subsidy of around Rs45 lakh during FY 2009-10 to various artisans.

He said that this year around the quantum of subsidy has been increased.

"Last year, Rs100 per idol for maximum of 150 idols was paid by the government which is not enhanced to Rs100 per idol for maximum of 250 idols," Salgaocar said. 

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Yes there are many more important issues which are destroying the environments in Goa then the idols! The destruction of forests, fields, mountains, water bodies, beaches, appears irreversible and a great injustice to the future generations!

Making clay idols of Ganesh could be a very small step in the right direction but it should not divert attention of all concerned from more serious issues causing permanent damage to the environments!

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 06 th September 2010 19:32

 

There are many more other important issues which are polluting the environments of Goa! Like the mining rejects are polluting the water bodies, wells, sources of drinking water, destroying the plantations and fields, depositing silts in the river beds, polluting the houses and other establishments in the nearby places, damaging the roads etc.

Then there are the Casino boats meant for gambling by the corrupt with ill gotten wealth- polluting the Mandovi waters and the aquatic life and fish.

Then there are taverns and bars almost one in every house- destroying the families even in rural parts.

Then there are lot of chemical factories almost in every industrial area- discharging the poisonous affluents- all polluting the surroundings!

Then there are drug peddlers destroying the younger generation with all impunity and polluting and vitiating the tranquil atmosphere of Goa!

The idol issue is almost a small insignificant issue- so hyped up by the politicians - may be to divert the attention from more serious issues spoiling the life of the common man!

- james silva, margao | 06 th September 2010 13:18

 

Guys like Rajendra Kerkar are the real heroes of Goa. Traditional chavath has always been eco-friendly and should be maintained in that way--worshiping the nature in a natural way--

- Jagan Kamat, USA | 05 th September 2010 19:26

 

Why are the environmentalist silent on the menace of crackers and fire works? It pollutes the environments as well as causes serious accidents!

Why dont we learn a lesson from the Chines? They are good at exporting the fire work materials to poor countries like India but never waste resources on the same in their country!

The Government will do good if it bans all the fire works on such occasions, as it would save many innocent lives!

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 05 th September 2010 12:04

 

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