The Ganesh festival is celebrated with much fevour in India and is a blessed and auspicious period among the Hindus. It is during this period that individuals go in procession to immerse (visarjan) the Ganesh idols at a nearest water body.
Traditionally the idols are made from plaster of Paris (POP), which leads to serious environmental hazards due to the slow degeneration process. Although there has been a shift towards a more environment friendly material, it will be a while before its mass accepted.
District 323A- 1 Chairperson Environment Services, Lion Farida Contractor (Home Club- Lions Club of Bombay Central), under the ‘Centennial Service Challenge’, organized a cleanliness drive on Saturday, 10th September, 2016, the 6th day of the visarjan, at Girgaum Chowpatty, to extend help to the BMC team involved in the task of cleaning the beaches after the Ganpati Visarjan.
At the time of implementation, the Lions Clubs were able to actively engage the youth with the involvement of 350 Students of NSS teams of Jai Hind College, Wilson College, BKM High School, St.Mary's High School, St.Isabel's High School and Rosary High School. The schools involved were able to reach out under the social hours allocated towards community service, as part of the academic curriculum.
The Chairperson was enthusiastically supported by other Lions Clubs including, Lions Club of Bombay Central, Lions Club of Bombay Babulnath, Lions Club of Byculla, Lions Club of Churchgate, Lions Club of East Bombay, Lions Club of Mahanagar, Lions Club of Nanachowk, Lions Club of Parel, Lions Club of South Hill, Lions Club of Sunrise, along with Lions of District 323A-1.
The Chief Guest District 323A-1 Governor Lion Armaity Copper and Guests of Honour,1st and 2nd Vice District Governors Lion Pradip Parekh and Lion Divyesh Shah respectively along with Past District Governors Lion Santosh Chauhan and Lion Daara Patel participated and motivated the participants.
The Lions, BMC and Police along with teachers and students from the participating schools and colleges, collectively joined together to protect the environment and support Prime Minister, Narendra Modiji's vision of a Swatch Bharat.
The Chairperson, Lion Farida expressed her excitement and belief in her members saying "Proud to be a Lion. We Lions are together making difference for making the world a better place to live in."
Along with her team, the BMC also appreciated their efforts and requested the active participation of the members in educating students and the youth, about environmental awareness by conducting seminars and involving these children. The schools are also equally excited to support the Lions in environmental projects, in the future.
What was most impactful, was the learning for the children to respect nature and keep their environment clean, along with the necessity of shifting to a more eco-friendly Ganesha festival.
This initiative received a significant coverage, and was aired by 91.1 FM radio, where RJ Karan interviewed the students live. It will also be published in English, Marathi and Hindi newspapers.
EK KADUM SWACHATA KI AUR!