Students, corporates endorse environment-friendly visarjan

Sep 18, 2013, 02:06 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

To support the cause of eco-friendly Ganesh immersion, around 200 students of various city colleges and another 300 employees of several companies have come forward to collect nirmalya (flowers and herbs used in rituals) and to spread awareness about benefits of visarjan in PMC tanks compared to the river.

All the volunteers are expected to be present at 13 immersion spots on the banks of Mutha River today.

Students and members of SWaCH
Clean-up act! Students and members of SWaCH on a drive of nirmalya collection on the fifth day of Ganesh festival

For Fergusson and Modern college students this is the second consecutive year they are participating in the programme with the cooperation of Solid Waste Collection and Handling (SWaCH), an NGO that has been running the initiative for the past many years. However, this year students from Symbiosis, Wadia and Hujurpaga High School will take part in the project for the first time. Apart from these youngsters, SWaCH is also getting a good response from various corporates, and a total of 520 volunteers will partake on the last day of Ganesh festival.

“This year, around 40 students of our college will be involved in this cause. According to our plans, we all will gather around 2 pm on Wednesday and then move to Lakdi Bridge and SM Joshi bridge immersion spots, where we will remain till late evening,” said Shrenik Mutha, a last year Arts faculty student of Fergusson College.

“Collection of nirmalya from people coming for immersion is our main job. Then we will segregate it into degradable and non-degradable garbage. The rag pickers of SWaCH will collect objects like plastic, thermocol etc, and the remaining degradable garbage will then proceed for composting. We are also going to appeal to devotees for carrying out immersion in PMC-built tanks on the riverside rather than in the river itself,” Mutha told MiD DAY.

When contacted, Manisha Desai of SWaCH said, “This year we got n overwhelming response both from students as well as other citizens. The number of volunteers has already reached 520 and we can expect at least 480 of them to support SWaCH members on Wednesday.”

“The degradable nirmalya will go to a school for special children Dilasa in Erandawne and at Blind Children School in Kothrud, where there is ample open space for composting,” Desai added.

520 Number of volunteers who have signed up with SWaCH

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