Pune: Several organisations in the city organised ‘Nirmalya Collection’ drives at various river ghats in the city, preventing tonnes of nirmalya from being thrown into the river on the day of Ganesh Visarjan (immersion), on Tuesday.
SWaCH had adopted 20 ghats in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. The wet nirmalya collected by the NGO and taken for composting amounted to 106 tonnes. Over 32 tonnes of dry waste was diverted away for recycling and processing.
Apart from waste pickers, staff and young volunteers stationed on the ghats collected nirmalys from the devotees who had come to immerse the idols. Also, this year SWaCH worked with the five Manache Ganapati ensuring that the Nirmalya from these revered mandals was processed in a project at PL Deshpande Garden in collaboration with the Rotary club and PMC. The NGO collaborated with eCoexist, Jeevit-Nadi, Reach and The Story station for the drive.
Shweta Karandikar of Jeevit-Nadi, who is actively involved in river preservation and volunteered alongside SWaCH workers said, “Almost everyone we talked to handed over their nirmalya to us. My daughter and I were at Pune Central Bridge near Garware College. Many people were appreciative of the facility provided and offered prasad to the staff and volunteers. With active participation by more citizens, I am optimistic that we will be able to gradually keep our rivers clean.”
Rotarian Tushar Munshi who volunteered along with 13 others from his club said, “This time we had our kids with us and we observed was people were more receptive to the kids and gave them Nirmalya more willingly. I would suggest to increasing volunteers from children as this would also brings awareness in the young generation.”
The Association of Lions Clubs International District 3234 D-2 collected 42-ton Nirmalya (floral offerings) during Ganesh Immersion Procession on Tuesday. Around 1,000 Lion member from 52 clubs in the city participated in the drive. The club covered around 22 ghats from Pune and eight from Pimpri-Chinchwad.