Idol Pollution

Idol worship has been an age old traditional practice in our Indian culture. It was popularized by Lokmanya Thilak in the objective of the festival was mainly to bring people together and promote freedom movement…….

It’s been a tradition to immerse idols in water bodies like rivers, lakes, ponds, estuaries, open coastal beeches, wells, etc…..

Problem in idols:

Idols are constructed by POP, clay, clothes, small iron rods, Bamboo, and decorated by paints.

Paint contains heavy metals like Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Zinc, Chromium, and Lead. -Red, Blue, Orange, and green colours contain Mercury, Zinc oxide, Chromium and Lead, which are potent carcinogens.

Exposure to these metals are highly toxic to us and leads to death. Eating fishes of immersed idol water bodies, is one of the main indirect exposure to these heavy metals. Especially mercury which causes Minamata. (Cadmium-itai itai, Arsenic- coma and death). Heavy cause genetic defects and leads to cancers.

It destroys marine life, kills fishes… Extinction of aquatic plants and animals are under very high risk of danger. Drinking water from these water sources cause birth defects, cancer and even zombies๐ŸงŸ๐ŸงŸ. When this water is used in agriculture products have high amount of heavy metals in the yields.

In the years, studies of water bodies in India showed that:

  • Acid content increased a lot
  • TDS(total dissolved solid) increased by 100%
  • Heavy metal content sampling showed an increase in the metals such as iron which increased nearly 10times and content of copper segment increased to 200%-300%.
  • Use of Plaster of Paris (POP) increased the excess calcium content.

Use of Plaster of Paris and Heavy Metal painting of idols should be prohibited.

Guidelines to be followed for idol immersion by government:

  • Traditional clay must be used as described in the holy scripts. No backed clay and POP.
  • No painting of idol. Only natural dyes should be used or food colours.
  • Public should be educated before the purchase of idol and immersion rules.
  • Worship materials should be segregated and immersed. Flowers and organic material into bio-degradable waste. Plastic, paper and decorative items into non bio-degradable waste. Clothes(vastras) can be donated to orphanages.
  • Liners of the idol should be removed within 48hrs. Bamboo and logs can be reused after immersion also. Which causes stagnation of water
  • Local bodies/district authorities should be well planned for immersion – where to immerse and avoid over crowding, etc…..
  • No burning of solid waste like flowers, clothes and decorative items. Instead bin them.
  • Pooja organisers should also spread awareness for disposal of waste to the public.

Happy Ganesha Chaturthi to all, let’s celebrate an eco-friendly festival ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

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