The above image is from The Hindu and the next one is from google. Painted Durga idols are immersed in water bodies after Durga Pooja in Bengal, Odisha etc.
I am not happy looking at the 'to be broken' or 'broken' idols of gods. So much effort is down the drain. Yes, this is a ritual followed by many for the past many years. But we are adding pollution to the river and our earth cannot take it anymore. Population has increased...instead of one idol, hundreds of idols are being immersed. We don't have many water bodies anymore! Clean water is becoming scarce.
'Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) senior scientist Dillip Behera said: “Metal compounds of elements such as lead, cadmium, chromium and nickel are largely found in artificial colours and if so many idols are immersed in the river, they may cause carcinogenic or cancer-causing toxicity in the water and affect people downstream.' (link)
Earlier vegetable colours and colours from stones were used to paint the idols. But now, cheap paints are used.
Same thing happens when we immerse Ganesha idols also. At least, we, in Tamilnadu, use clay idols which blend with the water easily. And when I was in Bangalore, I used to immerse our Ganesha idol in a bucket of water, leave it for a couple of days and throw the water in some corner of the compound. I did the same in my previous house too though we had a well at home, since I worried about the clay's origin!
|Clay idol at home! (link)|
|Clay idol with organic colours, it seems. Looks beautiful.|
|Tank for Ganesh visarjan. People stood calmly in line and immersed the idols here. All flowers and other things which adorned the idols were dropped in one place. Just the idols were immersed here.|
|The crowd waiting for Ganesh visarjan, chanting Ganapathi Bappa Moriya and singing some bhajans.|
People can drop the idols in the tank and go out via another gate. One hundi was kept there. People who are interested to help this scheme can drop money in it. This is done by a group of people for the past few years, it seems. The debris is removed from the tank later.
Clay idols and immersion tank are ideal to celebrate these idol visarjans. Nobody is hurt in this way. Let us all think about it!