Save Ganges campaigners ask not to immerse idols into river

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Varanasi, Sept 19 (ANI): To prevent the river Ganges from getting further polluted, the Ganga Mahasabha, a voluntary organisation, in Varanasi, has asked people not to immerse idols in it, which have chemicals or artificial colours.

National secretary of the Ganges Mahasabha, Acharya Jitendra, has said when these idols will be immersed, a lot of river bodies, mainly river Ganges, will be polluted.

To stop this, he said the government should nip the problem in the bud by banning the use of chemicals and artificial colours in making idols.

"The Government should take action wherever idols are being made.

Idols are generally made in only two or three places in a city. So the government should instruct the sculptors not to use chemicals. It can be stopped at this level. If Ganga Basin Authority takes any impractical decision to stop river pollution, there will be a lot of problem in the country," said Jitendra.

Idols of Durga are installed at homes or community worship places for the nine-day festival, which has begun on Saturday.

The idols will be immersed in river bodies but preferably in the river Ganges on the 10th day following the culmination of the nine-day festival.

Jitendra said it's important to check the problem in the first step because once the idols are installed, known as 'Praan Pratishtha', then they have to be immersed into rivers. "A large number of idols are immersed into rivers. It pollutes rivers but mostly the Ganges," Jitendra said.

There is a great demand for idols of Durga, especially in West Bengal, where thousands of artisans become very busy in making idols ahead of the festival.

"We don't use any chemical or artificial colours. If idols are made of alloys or metal then, chemicals are used in them. But in clay idols harmful colours are not used. The colours are made of using clay which washes away with water," said Gopal Chandra, a sculptor.

Non-government agencies and environmentalists have been raising their voice against the immersion of idols, which contain Plaster-of-Paris, synthetic colours and non-biodegradable material. (ANI)

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