Officials in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh have asked devotees to donate coconuts to malnourished kids instead of offering them to the river. This step will not just help poor kids but will also prevent pollution in the river.
District collector Sanket Bhondwe came up with the idea and advised devotees to donate coconuts to malnourished children instead of offering them to the water body.
Besides preventing river pollution, the move will also prevent local vendors from re-collecting and re-selling the unbroken coconuts offered by devotees.
Devotees congregating at the Narmada river welcomed the move and donated over 1,000 coconuts for poor kids on the first day of the initiative itself.
These coconuts were collected and distributed to the local anganwadis in and around the district. Officials aim to collect about 5,000 coconuts in the next two days.
Though the initiative has been welcomed by the devotees, local vendors have been opposing the move, accusing the officials of hurting religious sentiments.
However, plans are afoot to implement coconut collection on an even larger scale during the nine-day-long Navratri festival where more than 5 lakh coconuts are offered to the Narmada river.