New Delhi, July 29 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said festivals like Ganesh Utsav are a great unifier and should be celebrated with enthusiasm, but in an “eco-friendly” way.
“Celebrate Ganesh Utsav with great enthusiasm and fervour whole heartedly but insist on keeping these celebrations eco-friendly,” Modi said in his monthly radio address “Mann Ki Baat,” underlining that the festival is an opportunity for the youngsters to acquire leadership and organisational skills.
“Right from Ganesh idol to all decorative material everything ought to be eco-friendly and I will appreciate that separate competitions be organised in each city and prizes be awarded for these.”
Ganesh Utsav or the birthday of Lord Ganesha, is scheduled to be celebrated on September 12 this year. The 11-day festival ends with the immersion of the Ganesha idols into the sea or water bodies.
The environment bodies and activists have been advocating the use of eco-friendly materials for making these idols, instead of toxic substances that badly harm the aquatic eco-system.
Modi also remembered freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak who had promoted the community celebration of Ganesh Utsav to mobilize people against the colonial rule.
In the same spirit, Modi earlier said that the man himself was wreaking havoc with the environment that resulted in natural calamities such as droughts, floods and landslides.
“We are receiving news of good rain from some parts of the country. At some places, the torrential rains have caused floods while some other regions are still waiting for the rain,” Modi said.
“The fault is not with the rain gods, the fault lies at our end. We are wreaking havoc with the nature by our own deeds and this makes nature angry sometimes,” he added.