As the city moves closer to Ganesh visarjan, one will surely see longer queues at mandals as crowds rush for a last darshan of the elephant-headed deity. The last prayers will be said, wishes given, flowers put and prasad partaken. Soon, it will be time to say farewell as Lord Ganesh is taken to various beaches and water bodies across cities.
One must remind revellers, devotees and mandal organisers that their responsibility does not end with the visarjan. To all at the beaches of the city, one has to make a special, concerted effort to keep the sands clean. Overall, Mumbai does not have a great record of its beaches. Often, we see hordes of rubbish on the sands and in the sea, plastic and debris floating around. Then, we have sporadic clean-up operations which start with zeal but are unable to last and often lack in consistency.
Devotees and organisers must make extra efforts to not throw trash on the sands during visarjan. One often sees NGOs and schoolchildren cleaning the beach a day after visarjan. While all initiatives are welcome, a special effort must be made on the day itself. Even if devotees and those who accompany the idol for immersion, make some effort to keep their patch of the beach clean, it would go a long way in the overall cleanliness.
Similarly, mandals must ensure that they fill in the cavities they may have dug on road,s to set up poles. Digging up the road and then leaving it as it is, is not done. Do repair any kind of damage with the same alacrity one showed in putting up the mandal. Mumbaikars have enough to contend with, with potholes, rough roads and loose paver blocks, which makes walking a real concern. A modicum of responsibility is what is needed from all organisers to restore the road, if damaged.
Let us prove that visarjan does not mean we have to do away with our duty. As stakeholders in the city, ensure that you leave the place the same, if not better than before, because as the adage goes, cleanliness is next to godliness.