This is the 10th year that the actress is bringing an eco-friendly Ganesha. Sambhavna is planning to prepare different types of modaks for her bappa. “He will get bored of normal modaks so I will make chocolate modaks for him this time,” she says. She is planning to have an evening of bhajans on the first day for her five-day Ganpati.
Manish Paul, who is bringing home the idol for the fifth year, was clear from the beginning that he would not harm the environment in any way. “My wife (Sanyuka) and I were clear that we will neither cause water pollution during the immersion, nor will we contribute to the terrible traffic snarls,” says Manish, who immerses his Ganpati in a bucket of water at home and then uses that water to water the plants. Adds the actor currently hosting Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, “All our Ganpati idols have been made of pure mud/ clay, with vegetable colours, which dissolve completely in water within an hour.” Besides celebrating the festival in an eco-friendly manner, Manish tries and contributes towards preserving nature by using the air-conditioner at 24-25 C. “We always re-use paper and never take printouts for our flights,” he adds.
Vishal and his wife have been keeping a Ganpati for the last two years. They host the idol for one-and-a-half day. Says Vishal, “It’s very important to go the eco-friendly way. Our water really gets polluted during some of our festivities and so it’s best to find solutions that don’t harm our environment. In my house, we buy a new eco-friendly bucket every year in which we do our Ganpati visarjan. The water in which the idol melts is used for our plants in the home.”
Angad Hasija has been bringing bappa home for the last five years. However, he went eco-friendly only in the last two years. Hailing from Chandigarh, Angad, who had come to Mumbai, to become an actor had vowed that if he realised his dream he would start bringing Ganpati at home. “Bidaai happened and I started the tradition. My friends pointed out that I should get eco-friendly idols and I agreed,” says Angad, who personally shops for the material for decoration. “This time the colour theme is maroon and golden and I have decorated with Punjabi kalire (which women wear with chuda),” he explains. After hosting the God for one-and-a-half day, he immerses the idol in man-made ponds. Says Angad, “I request people to not immerse the idols in beaches. It pollutes the sea even if the idol is an eco-friendly one that dissolves. Environment needs to be saved and everyone should do their bit.”
Raqesh not only believes in celebrating the festival in an eco-friendly way, but also makes his own Ganpati idols. The actor who has been making the idols since his childhood uses Shadu mati or the silt from the river bed to create one. “It’s basically a mud and clay mixture. It takes me five-six hours to complete making it and another few hours to paint it,” says Raqesh. He feels the entire process is like meditaton, a therapy. “I feel at peace and I find a lot of answers,” says the actor last seen in Hongey Judaa Na Hum. The idol is immersed in a tub at home and the water is used to plant the trees. “The mud dissolves quickly in water and it goes backs to nature,” smiles Raqesh, who in his childhood would plant trees during the festival.
Mohit Malik, who has been bringing home the idol along with beau Aditi Shirwalkar for three years, started going eco-friendly only since last year. Says Mohit, “Global warming is already causing turmoil and we really do need to take tcare of our environment. What we give to Mother Earth, is what we get in return. That is why I believe in celebrating all the festivals in an eco-friendly way — be it Ganesh Chaturthi or Diwali. We have an eco-friendly visarjan at home in a man-made pool. We then use the water in our home so that there is no wastage,” says the actor.
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