• To decrease the environmental damage by promoting awareness about the harmful impact of immersion of Ganapati idols containing  artificial(non-clay) materials, toxic paints.
  • To spread the knowledge of the traditional way of celebrating Ganapati and its true meaning and significance.


  • Vinayaka Chaturthi, like most other Sanatana Dharma practices, is intended to promote awareness of the importance of the environment and the close dependencies between the human species and the environment. The Rishis were aware of the enormous negative impact of unmitigated human activities on the whole environment and its effect on human welfare. The various festivals at different times of the year are part of elaborate lessons/reminders to mankind about maintaining harmony with the environment apart from help with man’s spiritual journey.
  • However, over the last few decades, the original practices have been transformed to being more lavish, more ornate and has resulted in direct negative impact on the environment both ecologically and socially. It has almost turned the very concept of celebrating Ganapati pooja on its head to an activity that is causing lots of environmental damage. These inconsistencies (between original intent and actual practice) left unaddressed could typically undermine the true celebrations in the longer run.

Environmental Inconsistencies

  • Ganapati idols made of clay are colored using oil paints. These paints contain toxic ingredients that get released to the water and soil after immersion. These toxic chemicals have a harmful affect on plants, animals and humans.
  • The paints used to colour Ganapati idols have toxic materials like Chromium etc. These toxic materials are released to the water in which the idols are immersed. In many places, the idols are immersed in open wells, tanks, lakes, rivers, sea. These water bodies are also used for drinking water and irrigation and other activities. These toxins when released to water seep into the soil and cause both short-term and long-term impact on the the environment and health.
  • At the pandals, lots of plastic is typically used and not properly disposed.

Social Inconsistencies

  • Ganapati Pandals are set up almost one for each street, instead of having a more inclusive participation, it sometimes leads to more divisive, exclusive gatherings.
  • The focus of these pandals is sometimes more on display of clout, money collection, playing loud inappropriate music and less on collective participation.
  • Ganapati Pandals are sometimes organized at any point in time sometimes extended much beyond the traditional days (chaturthi to Chaturdashi).

Parisara Ganapati

  • This effort is to establish a consistent, uniform message about the best practices for Ganapati festival and thereby increasing the awareness of the environmental issues facing the world.
  • While some efforts are being made by individuals and organizations to reach out to the masses with the message., there is a need for a concerted, inclusive movement.
  • A key push to this movement is to get the help of  religious heads to guide the movement and provide a united message to all sections.
  • To help co-ordinate, share resources and information among all individuals and organizations working towards this cause.

The Method

  • Use the internet to help promote awareness, co-ordinate activities. Create a website , provide all resources there.
  • Email blitz – circulate by email a presentation /document with the content.
  • Produce  short video clips with the message and propagate through volunteers by free screenings in Schools, Colleges, Temples, Satsanghs, other community gatherings.
  • Also, make the film available on the internet for free screeings and download. Make the documentary available to the mass media (TV, Radio ) for free broadcast for greater reach.
  • The documentary must be made available in Kannada, English initially. Include content in other languages as feasible.
  • The tone of the message is positive with the intention to provide information on the best way to celebrate Ganapati pooja individually at homes, or collectively in pandals. While the key message is about what idols to use, and the best way for immersion, it should also include the other key aspects like the spiritual, social, religious practices during the festival.