Photographer's Note

Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is the supreme god of knowledge, wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. He is the Lord who is first worshipped before any holy occasion or puja.Images shows the idols made of Plaster of Paris along with the artist.

THis materialtakes much longer to dissolve and in the process of dissolution releases toxic elements into the water body. The chemical paints used to adorn these plaster idols, themselves contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium.

For overcoming the issues of suggestions being suggested & coming into practice slowly are as :
Amongst the solutions proposed by various groups some are as follows:

1. Recycling of plaster idols to repaint them and use them again the following year.
2. Return to the traditional use of natural clay idols and immerse the idol in a bucket of water at home.
3. Use of a permanent idol made of stone and brass, used every year and a symbolic immersion only.
4. Ban on the immersion of plaster idols into lakes, rivers and the sea.
5. Use of biodegradable materials such as paper mache to create Ganesh idols.
6. Encouraging people to immerse the idols in tanks of water rather than in natural water bodies.

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Additional Photos by Nilesh Bhange (bnilesh) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 10 W: 2 N: 49] (579)
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