Eco-friendly Ganesha idols are made of papier-mâché and clay.
Mumbai: Ganapati Bappa will adorn the homes and landscape of Mumbai during the 10-day-long Ganeshotsav. But before Bappa arrives in the city, many Mumbaikars are planning to give the Lord a ‘green makeover’.
Eco-friendly Ganesha idols and decorative materials seem to be the flavour of the season, with activists requesting citizens to favour sustainable idols over Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols.
Eco-friendly Ganesha idols are made of papier-mâché and clay. Available in sizes between 13 inches and two feet, and coloured with watercolours, the idols take 30 minutes to two hours to dissolve.
Dr Sumedha Joshi, a Mumbaikar, has been bringing home eco-friendly Ganesha since last two decades. She believes that PoP idols harm our environment and undermine the ethos of the festival.
“Celebrating eco-friendly Ganesh festival enables you to celebrate the festival in a grand manner without harming the environment. Eco-friendly Ganesha gives a clear message to the people who visit our home,” says Dr Joshi.
Surendra Khajanji, an architect by profession and promoter of eco-friendly Ganesha, says, “We have been promoting ‘Go Green Ganesha’ for more than a decade now. During the festival period, we ask households to use only sustainable idols and discard plastic and thermocol.”
Mr Khajanji has also been arranging competitions to spread the message of eco-friendly Ganeshotsav.
This year, minister of state for home affairs, Dr Ranjit Patil, too has come out in support of an eco-friendly Bappa. “PoP Ganpati idols should be replaced with eco-friendly idols made of cow dung, ‘shadu-mati’ and papier-mâché,’ says the minister.
Dr Patil also adds that the government is working out an elaborate policy to discourage PoP idols and promote eco-friendly Ganesha idols.