Artificial Immersion

The cacophony of the chants, bhajans, lezim and the rising fervor during Ganesh Visarjan gives an electrifying atmosphere. But what many people forget it that along with our immersion of dear Bappa, we also leave many harmful chemical paints, and Plaster of Paris which is insoluble in water, into the creeks, sea and lakes.

We donít realize that our actions disturb marine ecology and many organisms simply die after the festival. In the face of unrestrained immersion of idols, a number of lakes like the 35 lakes in Thane are in the danger of being extinct. In a 2009 year, 1.91 lakh of idols were immersed (according to envis). Tons and tons of POP are left into the water bodies, where fishes and other aquatic organisms thrive putting their lives in danger.

There is one solution to burgeoning problem: Artificial Immersions.

What is Artificial immersion?

Artificial immersion is immersion of Ganesh idols within our homes or in an artificial pond constructed by the local municipal corporation. A pit is dug out, large enough to contain a large number of idols of that area. It is then covered with Tarpaulin sheets so to as ensure that no water or idols seeps into the ground. Then the pond is filled by water, embankments are made and the pond is ready.

This way the harmful chemicals used in making the idols do not reach natural water bodies. After Ganpati immersions are over, the pit is again filled with soil after the idols are removed.

(picture courtesy- http://mumbai-eyed.blogspot.com/2010_09_01_archive.html)

What happens to the idols later?

The idols then accumulate at the base of the artificial pond. The POP disintegrates and settles down. It is all taken out and can be recycled into a host of articles like POP bricks, containers etc. Through this activity, natural water bodies are not only protected from these materials, but something useful is also made. Some citizens groups like Pestom Sagar Citizens Association, Chembur, engage in this kind of activity.