During the Ganesh Chaturthi, the ten-day long spectacular glorification of Lord Ganesha ends with much pomp and gaiety across India, with devotees immersing idols of the elephant-god into the rivers, ponds and lakes in their respective cities. Beyond the grandeur of the festivities is the fact that these water bodies get polluted with flowers and other accessories used to adorn the idols.
At Navsari in Gujarat when the festival ended with the immersion of the idols at the River Purna that flows across the city, Rotary Club of Navsari, D 3060, came up with a plan to preserve the river through a wonderful initiative — Project Punurthaan, along with Rotaract Clubs of Navsari Young Turks and Harijyot.
“There are four immersion points along the river. We made arrangements to collect the waste at all the points. Around 47 tonne waste was collected this year,” says Sagar Dhorajiya, President, RAC Navsari Young Turks.
The waste is segregated into organic and inorganic. While the organic accessories such as flowers and fruits used for worship which are bio-degradable were sent to the Navsari Agricultural University for vermicomposting, the remaining non-bio-degradable waste such as thermocol, plastics, artificial flowers and cloth used for decoration were sent for recycling.
The vermi-compost which makes a good fertiliser for crops was distributed among farmers at no cost. DG Pinky Patel was present during one such distribution event.
“The seed for this project was sown two years ago in 2016 and it has become popular ever since. Not only was our efforts lauded by the State administration and the people, the Sachivalay (Secretariat) has adopted the scheme in its surrounding 20 nagarpalikas now,” says Dhorajiya.