Eco-friendly Dussehra celebrations : Solving pollution problems during festivals

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dasara_dussehraWhile we have a gala time during Indian festivals, our environment chokes and cries for mercy. From elaborate lighting to polluting fireworks, our ten day bonanza turns into a huge environmental disaster. Nothing much can be done to reverse the effects of our negligence, but measures can be taken to avoid such an eco-debacle. A number of Dussehra celebrations in the country this year have shown the way of having a more sustainable festivity, proving that our fun need not always be at the cost of our environment. Let’s have a look at few of them.

Gurgaon: While  the rest of the country burnt Ravana effigies filled with crackers and fireworks, a few Gurgaon residents decided to go green and burn a tech version of Ravana through a pollution-free laser show. DLF Phase V residents witnessed a 13-minute animated story of Ravana dahan, told by using laser lights, which replaced the conventional bow and arrow used for burning the huge effigies.

Not only was this a eco-friendly initiative, but also a good lesson for our kids to show them how to practice what is preached. Talking to TOI, a resident of DLF Phase V puts this perfectly  as she says how her 5 year old wasn’t ready to go out for Dussehra because his school taught him not to  spread pollution through the use of crackers. But he went to the laser show and enjoyed a lot.

Agra: Our rivers bear the brunt of our ritual of immersing idols in them. However, this year Yamuna river was spared this fate since the Allahabad High Court banned the immersion of idols in the river last week and directed the state government to provide alternatives by next year. Green activists in the city took the lead by providing an alternative site on the banks of the Yamuna for the immersion. The site overlooks the Taj Mahal at the famous Haathi Ghat.

The “Visarjan Kund” (immersion site) is a 20×20-deep pit along the bank of the river. Scooped earth forms the boundary of the square pool, which will be filled with water. Another pit on the side is for puja samagri (material used for the rituals which are later discarded) and flowers, which in course of time would turn into manure. The initiative, taken up by the Agra Vikas Manch, supported by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, is to provide an alternative to those who ritually immerse idols in the Yamuna river.

Mysore:  The city of palaces completely replaced incandescent light bulbs with LED lights this year. The 15-day illuminations for Dasara last year went on to consume 1.25 lakh units of electricity. According to CESC officials, this year that number came down to about 40,000 units.Shops and business establishments in commercial hubs illuminated their premises voluntarily following a call from the district administration in view of the celebrations.Many of Mysore’s heritage buildings, some over a century old, had also been lit up with new lighting arrangements.

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