The fervour of Ganpati festival gripped whole country and lifted the spirits of masses especially in Maharashtra.
On 5th of September we all bid adieu to Lord Ganesha with heavy hearts and the beaches, rivers, lakes all over Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, etc. were flooded by people with chants of “Ganpati Bappa Morya, pudcha warshi lawkar ya”. All the beaches were manned by Police and with them there were volunteers of different organisation. But conspicuous was the presence of volunteers of Aniruddha’s Academy of Disaster Management, who were supporting the Government authorities to maintain the traffic, law and order by offering Public Security practice (Crowd Control) and helping the masses in every which way. The AADM formed in 2003 under the guidance and vision of Dr. Aniruddha D. Joshi is actively training people in Disaster Management. This year 3890 Disaster Management Volunteers (DMV’s) extended their services at 52 places including 49 locations in Mumbai, Thane 2 locations in Pune and 1 in Ratnagiri.
On the day after the immersion we visited the beaches of Mumbai to cover the work done by civic authorities and their too we found that volunteers of Shree Aniruddha Aadesh Pathak (an associate organization of Aniruddha’s Academy of Disaster Management), cleaning the beaches and re-immersing the Ganesh idols back into the sea. We were astonished to see the dedication of volunteers and could gauge the qualities inculcated by their mentor, Dr. Aniruddha D. Joshi. When we asked the volunteers about the activity, it was understood that these cleanliness drives are being carried from the year 2003 onwards. The volunteers were enthusiastic and further informed that during review meetings, Bapu (Dr. Aniruddha Joshi is fondly called by this name) was updated about the efforts taken for re-immersion of the idols by volunteers.
Bapu also planned for of Eco-friendly Ganpati and gave directions to achieve the results. A think tank worked on the nitty-gritties to bring it in to a reality and in the year 2004 Shree Aniruddha Aadesh Pathak started making Eco Friendly Ganpati from ‘Paper Mache’ which is completely dissolvable in water. This activity has gathered momentum and according to the information shared this year more than 4000 idols were made of varying sizes between 10 inches to 6 feet, all over Maharashtra and distributed all over India and across the world to propagate environment conservation.
The Vision of Dr. Aniruddha D. Joshi and his organisation need a special mention as it is an effort to inculcate social responsibility in the masses and helping the society to enjoy the festivals in right spirit.