Dussehra is one of the most popular festival of Hindu Tradition. It marks the Death anniversary of Ravana. It is also known as Vijayadashmi, celebrated at the end of navratri each year. It also accompanies with the celebration of Durga Puja which is one of the most loved and famous festival of bengalis. Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of navratri. It is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana. It signifies and proves the power of good over evil. Every year during durga puja and Dussehra, people across the country make idols and immerse them into various water bodies which pollutes the water bodies and the idols of Ravana are burnt which leads to air pollution.Usually these idols are made up of harmful materials which contaminate the water and air. Material such as toxic chemicals, Clay, paper, Plaster of Paris, cement, plastic, unnatural paints etc get submerged with water and while burning harmful gases are produced which travel through the air and are inhaled by the people and cause damage to them. All these substances pose a threat to aquatic life as well as human lives. They reduce the oxygen level of water and increase the acid content in it. It also becomes the cause for health hazards like skin infections, Breathing problems etc. The event is celebrated to showcase a huge amount of gratitude to our beloved gods but knowingly or unknowingly in the name of celebrations we humans destroy our own lifeline. Even the God himself will be dejected to see such kind of pollution and will not be able to forward us the blessings.
Eco friendly ways of celebration should be promoted.
Celebration will become more happy if we take good care of our surroundings. So here are few ways in which Dussehra and Durga Puja could be celebrated without constituting harm to the natural world:
- MUD : Idols made up of mud will be easy to make as well as easy to submerge under water. Also Mud will dissolve fully and completely inside the water and within few seconds without harming the water bodies.
- COW DUNG: In 2017 Idols made up of cow dung are gaining popularity because dung is a renewable source which will take the shape of manure under water and definately will be healthy for underwater plants. It will have a spiritual effect and will make the gods joyful because “cow” in India is served as a mother.
- Herbal colours: Herbals colours also dissolve completely under water plus they can give people a very bright, beautiful and harmless idol of Goddess Durga.
- Banana leaves: Banana leaves will give a mesmerising shape to the idol of Goddess Durga because of the beauty of its colour and will easily float with water.
- Petals: Flower petals are the products of nature itself so they will not pose any ailment to the natural abode and will easily float away with water. They might also become food for some aquatic animals.
- Candy wrappers: In last few decades this way has been very popularized because of its Eco friendly nature and creativity.
- Ban On Toxic Materials: Plaster of Paris, toxic paints etc should be banned because they reduce the amount of oxygen in the water bodies killing aquatic life, turning into health hazards for human lives and generate harmful gases which pollute the water bodies. All these materials should be banned.
- Refrain from Noise Pollution: use of low sound music instruments like tabla, mridangam, acoustics, flutes etc could be used instead of loud music, speakers, drums etc.
- Artificial tanks : Artificials tanks could be used instead of large water bodies, ponds, rivers and lakes etc for the process of immersion.
- Various other Natural ways: Coconut husks, spices,chocolate, alums, pulses, sugarcane,marbles etc should be used for making idols.
There are many initiatives taken by the government to reduce pollution caused by this festival.
Goa pollution control board along with Goa handicrafts, rural and small scale industries development pvt ltd conducted a joint inspection to check the materials used in making up of idols. The use of Pop declined to 0.67 percent in Goa this year. Delhi government also demarcated specific areas of immersion of the idols.Lieutenant governor of Delhi advised and Eco friendly festival this year. The city of Kolkata is the largest buyer of idols and the festival is most popular in Bengal , the Government there also took steps towards Eco friendly celebrations.
Goddess Durga will be happiest to witness his disciples taking care of the natural gifts of nature along with celebrations.
Written By: Manaswita Sachdeva
Edited by : Anirban Banerjee