With an aim to keep the environment safe, artisans across India are adopting eco-friendly ways to make the idol of Lord Ganesh, ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, is celebrated over a period of ten-days, which starts on the fourth day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar month of Bhadrapada. This year, Chaturthi is celebrated on Monday, 2 September, 2019.
Over the years, scientists have been worrying about the effects of the idols on the environment. Numerous samples of water from lakes, seas and other water bodies have indicated high levels of polluting ingredients.The sewage systems are left with black-coloured, untreated raw collection of industrial effluents.
High levels of zinc, calcium and strontium are found in the samples which are due to the immersed idols painted with multicolours.
The plaster of Paris, clothes, iron rods, chemical colours, varnish and paints that is used to make the idols, is highly polluting. This leaves the water world in grave danger. Also, the use of this water is harmful for humans and animals alike.
Idols are usually made of heavy metals, which contain nickel, lead and mercury. These find their way into fishes and birds inhabiting the lake, which finally reach the humans through food.
The only solution for this danger, is to make the idols small, of non-baked, quick-dissolving clay and with natural colours used in food products.
Hence, this year, artisans in Mumbai and some other cities have decided to go the clay way. Artisan Dattadri Kothur of Mumbai, has made unique idols, using eco-friendly clay to promote a concept of Tree Ganesha. The most striking feature about the idol is the fact that it has a seed inside and can be grown into a plant by pouring water on it, after the festival ends.
“On the day of immersion, you can take the idol to the balcony, terrace or garden and much like you water plants, you pour water on the idol. The idol will dissolve and in four to ten days, a plant will come out of it,” Kothur said.
Artist Rohit Vaste in Mumbai has been making idols of Lord Ganesh with paper so that it can be recycled later on.
A wonderful initiative to save the environment that we live in.
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