“Toxic” Indian festivals poison waterways MUMBAI, Aug 18 (Reuters): Toxic chemicals from thousands of idols of Hindu gods immersed in rivers and lakes across India are causing pollution which is killing fish and contaminating food crops, experts and environmentalists said on Monday. Hindus across India celebrate various religious festivals in September and October, paying homage to deities like Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, and Goddess Durga, the destroyer of evil. Elaborately painted and decorated idols are worshipped before they are taken during mass processions to rivers, lakes and the sea, where they are immersed in accordance with Hindu faith. Environmentalists say the idols are often made from non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, cement and plaster of Paris and painted with toxic dyes. After the statues are immersed, the toxins then contaminate food crops when villagers use the polluted water for irrigation, said Shyam Asolekar, science and engineering head at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai. “Even small traces are extremely toxic as they persist in the body for a long time and accumulate in the human tissues,” said Asolekar, who has closely studied the effects of Hindu customs.
- <<< Admin >>>
- Posts : 76
Points : 407
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2009-10-28
Location : South Africa, Johannesburg
Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum