Tata Housing Development Co. Ltd has taken the lead to limit the serious impact of the Ganesha festival on the environment due to the immersion of idols made of plaster of Paris into lakes, rivers and the sea.
Tata Housing’s Beautiful is Green (BIG) is an initiative to help people make a change in any small way they can. The company is using various platforms such as social media, hoardings, advertisements, and websites, to reach out to Mumbaikars and urge them to buy green Ganeshas from select vendors whose products have been ratified. In addition, Mumbaikars can join in the Ganpati buzz by sharing their experiences about the green initiatives undertaken during this auspicious festive celebration and join Tata Housing in a beach-cleaning drive after the Ganpati visarjan.
The Ganesh Festival is one of the biggest festivals in India and largest in Mumbai. Traditionally, the idol is sculpted out of mud taken from nearby one’s home. Over time, plaster is used as cheaper alternate material for idol making. Plaster of Paris is non-biodegradable and insoluble in water. Moreover, the chemical paints used to adorn these plaster idols themselves contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium, causing water pollution. Also, on immersion, non-biodegradable accessories that originally adorned the idol accumulate in the layers of sand on the beach.