Pune: Lions Club of International District 3234 will carry out ‘nirmalya daan’ (donation of floral offerings) activity in the city on immersion day (September 5).
The club that pioneered the campaign around 14 years ago will carry out the activity at 25 ghats in Pune and at around seven spots in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
“We started the initiative in 2003. Since then, the members of the club actively participate in the process of collecting nirmalya from the people, who come to river ghats for immersion. Last year, we saved 45 tonnes of nirmalya from being thrown into the river and handed it over to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for composting,” Vijay Badhe, the head of the campaign, said.
Anand Ambekar of Lions Club said while the campaign was opposed earlier when it started, many people have become supportive now. “Earlier, people were reluctant to take nirmalya off the idols and give it to us. However, now maximum people are willing once we explain to the importance and very few people decline. I am sure, in coming years, the situation will completely turn around. All we hope for is contribute towards reducing the damage to our river during immersion.”
Members of over 52 Lions Clubs in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad will participate in the activity. Holkar Ghat, Omkareshwar Ghat, Vitthalwadi Ghat, Dattawadi Ghat, Meera Society Canal, Apsara Theatre Canal, Garware Bridge, Katraj Lake, Aundh Ghat, Rahatani Ghat, Ganesh Lake Akurdi, Talegaon, etc are some of the ghats where nirmalya daan will be conducted.
The campaign will be inaugurated by Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare at the ghat near Nilayam Bridge at 9.30 am on September 5. Girish Malpani, Regional Head of Lions Club, Shirish Mohite of Seva Mitra Mandal Trust and Dr Milind Bhoi of the Bhoi Pratishthan, will also be present.
Also, several social activists will appeal to people at the ghats across the city not to throw nirmalya in water and instead donate it for composting.