Water crisis is real. Conserving water is one of the top priorities of government of India, for which Jal Shakti Ministry was launched in May this year. It is executing the government’s mission to provide clean and piped drinking water to every household in the country. Drawing inspiration from it, Mahendra Ladda, who originally hails from Latur, Maharashtra, but has made Delhi his home, has used ‘Jal Hi Jeevan Hai’ theme for the ‘Delhi Ka Maharaja’, 18th Ganesh Mahotsav in the national capital organised by Ganesh Seva Mandal.
Coming from humble family background, Ladda founded the Ganesh Seva Mandal in a bid to giving back to the society back in 2002. The organisation carries our blood donation drive during the ten days of Ganesh Utsav owing to rise in dengue during monsoon. This year, inspired from PM Modi’s call to reduce plastic in daily consumption, the Ganesh Seva Mandal has decided to go plastic-free.
The 12-feet idol will be made of eco-friendly substance and to help promote “Green Delhi, Clean Delhi” and the same will not be immersed in the Yamuna river. Moreover, Ganesh Seva Mandal has collaborated with a firm which will recycle the plastic bottles devotees may leave behind to make polyester yarn.
Keeping in mind the theme to conserve water, instead of immersing the Ganesh idols in the Yamuna, large community pools will be created where eco-friendly Ganesh idols will be immersed. The water will then be reused to plant more trees. “Water is the very essence of life and so is air. When we worship God in our culture, we are essentially worshipping all his creations as well. We all know that Varun Dev and Indra Dev are the deities of Jal (water) and Vaayu (Air), so it is only prudent that while organising any religious activity or community celebration we should all take care of our mother nature and environment,” said Mahendra Ladda on his inspiration for the eco-friendly Ganesh pandal in Delhi.
In 1894, Bal Gangadhar Tilak had transformed the household ritual of Ganesh worshipping on Ganesh Chaturthi into a grand public event. People from all walks of life were welcome to participate in the ten day long festival. He took the Ganesh festival and turned it into a national celebration.
“Our Shri Ganesh Seva Mandal is not just a religious organization. We are a conscious organization with objectives of upholding our cultural values, nationalism and social harmony. Moreover, it is not only about religion, it is more about doing what is right. It is every citizen’s responsibility and duty to contribute his bit towards the environment and the nature. Mother nature has given us all the resources, so this is the least that we should do. We owe it to the future generations so that they also have access to clean air and water. I firmly believe that great individuals/citizens form a great society, and a great society in turn forms a great nation. This is what I personally aspire for myself and for others,” he added.