6 Pictures That Will Make You Ask – Is God Polluting The Planet Or Are We?

Posted on September 28, 2015 in Down To Earth, Lists, Staff Picks

By DTE Staff

Note: This article has been republished from Down To Earth.

It is the time of Ganesh Visarjan, the day when idols of Lord Ganesha are immersed in water bodies. There are many artisans in Delhi who make Ganesha idols. The artisans showcased in these pictures are from Jodhpur in Rajasthan who have been settled in Delhi for 20 years.
Not all Ganesha idols are made in Delhi. Especially the bigger ones that are made in other states such as Maharashtra and brought to Delhi by the artisans.
The idols that are brought to Delhi by the artisans are unfinished pieces. They are painted and given finishing touches by the artisans in Delhi. The unfinished idols that appear white are generally made of materials such as Plaster of Paris (POP) and chalk. These pieces are painted with plastic paint, water-colour and other synthetic paints.
For decoration, small plastic pieces are applied using adhesives like fevicol and artificial glue.
The issue of pollution crops up in the days leading up to the immersion as toxic chemicals used to make these idols endanger aquatic life. Studies by pollution board and scientists show a sharp rise in content of heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium in water bodies, following idol immersions.
The National Green Tribunal has recently ordered that only naturally-made idols can be immersed in water bodies such as rivers. But it is another matter that nobody follows the rules. And all sorts of idols find their way into River Yamuna in Delhi.
Environmentalists propose alternative clay idols to PoP ones as they are bio-degradable. However, not all idol-makers make them since they are not very lucrative.