Plaster Of Paris (POP) idols worshiped during different festivals throughout India are immersed in Water after the festival. In Pune city specially Ganesh festival is celebrated in a very large scale for 10 days every year where almost 5-6 lakh idols are worshiped. The POP idols immersed in river or lakes does not dissolve causing pollution of water bodies. Considering this concern students of Zeal Education Society actively participated and created awareness in 500 houses by distributing ammonium bicarbonate powder so that they can celebrate Eco friendly Ganesh Visarjan. The POP idols immersed in water containing ammonium bicarbonate (dissolved in 36-48 hours) which is food grade agent used in bakery products, dissolves forming ammonium sulphate which remains dissolved in water and calcium carbonate which settles as a sludge. Ammonium sulphate is very good fertilizer which can be used for plants in house and garden whereas calcium carbonate is used as raw material for making chalks as well as cement additives for making various articles such as cement bricks, sheets etc. The POP idols after worshiping can be converted into very good fertilizer and chalks. This solution is very easy and can be implemented by individuals at home or in a large scale by residential complexes or corporations in Pune City.
In collaboration with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Cummins India, CSIR- NCL has come up with eco-friendly immersion process without hurting emotion of the devotees. Students of Zeal Education Society from various discipline actively participated in this social initiative and efforts of students appreciated by Founder Director Shri. S. M. Katkar, ZES and Executive Director, ZES Shri. Jayesh Katkar.