Actor Amrita Rao hails the postponement of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at her neighbourhood
The Ganesh pandal community in actor Amrita Rao's neighbourhood has decided to postpone the Ganesh Chaturthi pandal celebration to February next year and the actor is elated about the decision.
The GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshostsava Samiti that organises a huge pandal celebration at the Wadala Ram Mandir with a footfall of lakhs every year, has decided on the postponement of the celebration citing the COVID-19 pandemic and the gloomy atmosphere that it has created.
" I have been visiting the pandal since my childhood and my Ganesh Chaturthi celebration is incomplete without this darshan. However, I am truly impressed and grateful to the GSB Samiti that without thinking about donations or any other factor they have postponed their pandal celebration this August in the best interest of the public's health. I hope other pandal committees take inspiration and do the same," tells Rao.
"We have taken a conscious decision to postpone this year’s Ganeshotsav to February 15 next year, keeping in view COVID-19 pandemic. We do not want to risk the health and life of thousands of devotees who come for Darshan during the Utsav. We thank Amrita Rao for supporting our endeavours," says Mukund Kamat, trustee, secretary, Wadala GSB Trust.
Amrita also takes immense pride that her community Ganesh Samiti idol (Shri Moorti), though huge in size, is a completely eco-friendly idol made of shadu mati and eco-friendly colours. They also use biodegradable containers for Prasadam, only fresh flowers and banana leaves are used for Puja and use of plastic is avoided as far as possible.
The Konkani speaking actress further feels that in COVID-19 times Sarvajanik Ganesh visarjans or public immersions of idols must be banned by the BMC as they are not at all safe. "We must go back to our roots where traditionally Ganesh idols where immersed in the bore well of one's home's compound symbolising that 'what comes from earth goes back to the earth' but now we can recreate the same by immersing our deity in a bucket of water at our homes and pour the remains in flower pots or our society compound. This is the best and safest alternative," feels Amrita.
As an environment-friendly citizen, Amrita is all for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent call to citizens during his Mann Ki Baat to use eco-friendly idols that are not hazardous in any way, for the celebrations. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had also earlier this year banned the use of plastic, thermocol and plaster of Paris in making idols.
"Nature had to literally lock humans down in their homes to regain its balance. The rivers and lakes have self purified themselves from our toxic treatment. COVID-19 has been a huge wake-up signal from the environment and as responsible citizens, we must strive to keep our environment pure and toxic-free," adds the actor.
Last year Rao had launched her own pre-awareness campaign "Eco Bappa Morya" through a promotional 5-minute film, wherein the actress had interacted with idol-makers, oceanography scientist, beach-cleaning activist and also Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna to promote various options of eco-friendly idols including chocolate Ganesha, stressing on the fact that "the size of our devotion doesn't depend on the size of the idol we pray to".