KARNATAKA

KSPCB holds meet on making it eco-friendly Ganesh festival

GREEN FESTIVAL: T. Venkatesh of St. John's Medical College; A.S. Sadashivaiah, Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board; and Nagesh Hegde, environmentalist; at a workshop on eco-friendly Ganesha festival in Bangalore on Thursday. — PHOTO: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.

GREEN FESTIVAL: T. Venkatesh of St. John's Medical College; A.S. Sadashivaiah, Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board; and Nagesh Hegde, environmentalist; at a workshop on eco-friendly Ganesha festival in Bangalore on Thursday. — PHOTO: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.  

Encourage installation of eco-friendly idols during this Ganesha festival. This was the focus of deliberation during a meeting organised by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) with various non-governmental organisations on Thursday on steps to be taken for celebrating Ganesha festival in an environmental-friendly way.

Lead

Participants drew the attention of the board about the presence of lead in colours used to paint idols and its ill-effects on the artisans and people.

T. Venkatesh of St. John's Medical College 12 to 16 grams of lead would be present in colours used to paint every Ganesha idol and immersion of such idols in water bodies turned the water into poison.

Dr. Venkatesh pointed out that when the idols were immersed, the paint dissolved into the water.

Contamination

Animals consumed this lead-contaminated water and eventually this led would end up in our food chain through milk products or meat.

“Best way to solve this problem is to use clay idols or those painted with vegetable dye,” Dr. Venkatesh added.

N. Shahidhar of Crafts Council of Karnataka explained how the health of the artisans was affected when they were exposed to lead while using colours containing lead.

Encouragement

He said the council from the past many years had been encouraging artisans to shift to eco-friendly idols but the problem that they faced was market for eco-friendly idols.

Mr. Shashidhar said that West Bengal followed eco-friendly Durga festival and a similar initiative was required to be followed in the State while celebrating Ganesha festival.

Writer Nagesh Hegde highlighted the problem of indiscriminate dumping of garbage generated during the celebration of Ganesh festival while pointing out that people did not take care of ecology while celebrating the festival.

KSPCB chairperson A.S. Sadashiviah said that NGOs needed to involve themselves actively for creating awareness among the people to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly manner.

Like in the previous year, the KSPCB would provide mobile tanks for immersion of idols besides distributing pamphlets containing the information to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly way in various localities.

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