Durga Puja has arrived, bringing a festive season with itself. We can see the huge pandals getting fixed with various beautiful decorations and lights. The rituals will last for 10 days but 7th, 8th and 9th are the major attractions.
People dress themselves in their best attires and visit pandals and fairs. On the day Mahadashmi (the tenth day) the idols of goddess Durga and other gods and goddesses along with the idol of demon and the evil buffalo get immersed into water; the process is called ‘Visarjan’.
As per the Hindu Mythology, Goddess Durga leaves for her husband’s house to Kailash on Mahadashmi after staying at her father’s house on earth.
Whereas the scientific reason behind ‘Visarjan’ was that during this month the water level of the river raises and wash away the sands along the shore and due to that the river reach the ocean without settling on the ground and this would make the land less fertile and dry.
So, few decades back, idols were made of clay and decorated with vegetable colours and other biodegradable material that was not at all harmful for rivers. The clay has the property to absorb the water and immerse it to the ground. It makes the river water to settle as much as possible before making it to the sea and therefore the clay idols were immerged into the river.
Now idols are made of plaster of paris, synthetic colours and decorated with non-biodegradable materials that are not at all friendly to the rivers.
The heavy metals especially nikel, lead and mercury that is used in the colours get mixed into water and finds its way into the fishes and birds inhabiting the river which finally reach the humans through food. It pollutes the river and kills the marine life.
So, it is our duty to look into this serious issue, and the idol makers can contribute in it by making clay idols.