Mumbais eco friendly ganesha in virla parle

City’s largest eco-friendly Ganpati says goodbye for now at Vile Parle

September 9, 2022: Residents of Siddhivinayak Society, organizers of the Bal Gopal Mitra Mandal in Vile Parle East, gathered today to bid a fond goodbye to their beloved Ganpati Bappa.

Not for nothing is their idol known as the  “Mumbai cha Peshwa”. In the first place, it is completely eco-friendly – the materials used to make it comprise tissue paper, banana fiber and glue,  while its ornaments are made up of glass, all of which have earned the Mandal much approval in the battle to contain the city’s pollution levels. In the second place, among eco-friendly circles, where most idols are either household deities or around 10 feet high, the Peshwa cha Raja is a magnificent 21 feet! To place things in perspective, however, the Lalbagh cha Raja, Mumbai’s most famous Ganpati, is 38 feet this year.

The Mandal continuously kept in mind its environmentally friendly nature and utmost care was taken during the past ten days to keep celebrations as nature-pure as possible.

Today, the prayers began at 5 pm and then prasad was distributed to people present before space was cleared so that the idol could move to the path that led to immersion. One more huge advantage of an eco-friendly idol, is that it is so light that only 6 or 7 people were needed to push the trolley carrying it in procession.

The last few days have been subjected to heavy rains in the evenings and this has been a concern for the organisers. This evening also, there was a drizzle and fears were expressed that the idol would not resist the rain. But sculptor Rajesh Digambar Mayekar said that the very composition of the idol, tissue, banana fiber and glue, overlaid with paint would k at the Dr. Keshav Baliram Hegdewar maidan.

Throughout the short, happy journey, the theme remained non-polluting. There were no firecrackers set off at intervals, but a DJ was on hand with a sound system, to provide music as people danced and sang songs.

Even so, it was midnight when the Maidan was reached and the idol was immersed in an artificial pond created for the purpose. The third benefit of going the eco-friendly route then revealed itself. In next to no time, the idol merged with the water, leaving behind nothing but a few ripples.  

Apoorva Agashe
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