Nothing captures the zeal and excitement like the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, which is celebrated in several parts of India, especially in Maharashtra. The festival marks the birthday of the deity Ganesh and lasts for 10 days. The grand procession of leading the sculptures into water bodies are how devotees bid farewell and this is known as the “visarjan” or submersion. But, we have a worrying cause left by the end of the submersion, polluted water bodies. People are mostly unaware of the pollution it causes.

It is time to educate the people about the alternate methods of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi without water pollution caused by ‘Ganesh Visarjan’. Recently the Mumbai based non-profit organisation (NGO), Sprouts Environmental Trust, designed idols made with clay and stuffed it with fish friendly material such as corn, spinach, wheat and vegetable powder. They reduced the size of the sculpture and decorated it with organic colours such as turmeric and other herbs and organic colours. Many such experiments are done with cow dung, sugarcane, alum and other organic materials too.

We glorify the process of development, when in reality, it is not just destroying us, but also all other species that our beloved planet accommodates. An important fact to be underlined is that the environment is still our responsibility and we are not alienated from it. What we give to the environment is what comes back to us. We should not only focus on using it but must also focus on serving it.

- The reader is a lawyer and blogger