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Santosh Juvekar’s emotional appeal: I feel visarjan should be banned till we improve

In a video, the actor said that the materials dumped in the waters during the festival could block the drainage and again cause a flood in the city.

Keyur Seta

During Ganeshotsav and Ganesh visarjan, a lot of actors post pictures and selfies with Ganesha idols. But Marathi film actor Santosh Juvekar has raised concerns over the hazards caused to the environment after tons of Ganesha idols are immersed in the waters. In a video shared on Facebook, he even made an appeal to stop this practice of immersion.

The festival runs for almost a month, wherein idols of Ganesh are decorated and prayed to over a period of days. At the end of the stipulated period, the idol is them immersed in a water body. This immersion is called Ganapati visarjan. 

The actor started off saying, “Just recently, Mumbai was hit by a calamity. There were massive rains and water logging. People faced a lot of hardships. Some even lost their lives. What caused the water logging, blocking of drainage systems and flooding of rivers? It happened due to waste material blocking the flow of water.” 

Juvekar pointed out that such a calamity could have happened again. “Yesterday, during the visarjan firecrackers were burst and there was a lot of garbage once again. The idols are still in the runnels and ponds. This has made things conducive again (for floods). A friend shared a picture and just like he said, if, God forbid, such rains had arrived yesterday, it would have caused the same calamity. We ourselves are inviting calamities,” he said. 

He also went onto opine that visarjan should be banned if we continue with our ways. “Even after facing such consequences, we aren’t learning. Then I start feeling that we deserve this; this should happen to us as we behave this way. Sometimes I feel this visarjan and rallies should be just banned, as long as we don’t improve. Till then these things should be banned. I feel we should stop doing visarjan in rivers, runnels and sea,” he added. 

Juvekar also did an emotional appeal to Mumbaikars. “I humbly request you all to stop doing this. Take precaution. I will also request the BMC to remove the wastage soon. But only BMC and their cleaners aren’t responsible; we too are,” he said. 

He elaborated saying, “We bring bappa home with such love, do puja with such sincerity and then when we do visarjan, it’s parts and other material just keep lying in garbage. It can’t be recycled or anything. It just flows and blocks the drainage. Only we are responsible for this so please let’s improve ourselves. Else such calamities would keep returning and people will keep losing lives. If we don’t take care of nature, it won’t take care of us.” 

Incidentally, Juvekar had starred in Avadhoot Gupte’s Morya (2011), which took a stand against malpractices done in the name of Ganeshotsav. 

Watch the video: