This year, the surge of festivities has hit Delhi a little early with Ganesh Chathurthi which was earlier only majorly celebrated in Maharashtra. The festival has gained more and more popularity in recent times and is now celebrated widely across not just Delhi/NCR but across various other parts of India.
It has become a lot more popular in the city than it used to be, with a lot of homes hosting Ganpati poojas for the celebration. The trend has picked up massively in Delhi. Many families are now celebrating this vivid festival grandly and talking widely on social media about it.
Many people have opted for eco-friendly Ganesha options but yet some people stay with POP (plaster of Paris) made Ganesha’s that are toxic for under-water ecology; all go straight into local water bodies. Since Plaster of Paris is not made of naturally occurring substances and is calcium sulfate hemihydrate or (CaSO4, ½ H2O). It can take somewhere from several months to years for an idol made of PoP to completely dissolve in water.
To add to the problem, the idols are often decorated with paints heavy in lead and mercury which once immersed adds to the ongoing process of destroying the flora and fauna of the water body. And it’s not just this – huge amounts of waste is generated from the 10-day long festival, from flowers, fruits, incense sticks stuffed in polyethene bags.
According to a recent study by Sustainability Initiatives :