Ganpati goes green on Facebook

Started on August 7 last year, Green Bappa is a page on Facebook where a group of nature lovers from Navi Mumbai are promoting eco-friendly means of celebrating Ganeshotsav.

Plaster of Paris idols
True colours: Plaster of Paris idols take several months to years to fully dissolve when immersed into water. In addition, when chemical paints are used to decorate the idols, heavy metals such as mercury and lead seep into the water. File pic

The community has received 220 ‘Likes’ so far from users of the social networking site who receive updates on how to prepare environment-friendly idols of Ganesha and where to get such statues and decorations for this festival.

This is a not-for-profit initiative started by a group of friends who were interested on doing something socially relevant.

The Green Bappa page has contact numbers of sculptors who sell eco-friendly idols, some ideas for preparing environmentally safe decorations at home, information about artificial ponds and symbolic immersions, as well as scientific data about the harmful effects of plaster of Paris idols when dunked into rivers and seas.

Swagata Yadavar, one of the members of the group that started this portal, said, “We have posted contact numbers of people who sell green idols. We also share the techniques of making eco-friendly decorations. There were very few ‘Likes’ till last year but now that number has gone up to 220. We get inquiries from people on various issues of environmentally safe celebrations.”

Not only this social networking initiative, even Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is encouraging citizens to go green for Ganesh festival.

In fact, they have issued a list with names and numbers of 47 eco-friendly idol makers.

Sanjay Buskute, spokesperson of MPCB, said, “We want Mumbaikars to visit our website and obtain contact numbers of people who make environmentally safe Ganesha idols. Celebrating the festival in a eco-friendly way will help us in controlling water pollution.”

Number of Facebook ‘likes’ the Green Bappa page has received from usersĀ 

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