As the holy festival of Ganesha Chaturthi is around the corner, preparations and idol-making are at its peak. In a bid to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly manner, Mangaluru-based Nithin Vaja has made Lord Ganesha idol from paper pulp and seeds instead of using toxic materials and paints. The idol will be embedded with seeds from vegetable, fruits, and trees. Unlike the traditional idols, the environmental-friendly ones are easily dissolvable in water.
“It is made by crushing old newspaper and books into pulp which is used in making it. We have not used toxic paints or any other toxic materials. This idol is embedded with vegetable seeds and fruit seeds. It will grow into a plant after it dissolves in water. We have made 30-40 Ganesha idol this year. The demand is not so high in Mangaluru this year but we expect it to increase in the coming year,” said Nithin Vaja.
Mangaluru-based Nithin Vaj has made Lord Ganesha idol from eco-friendly paper-pulp&seeds; says, "We've not used toxic paints or any other toxic materials. This idol is embedded with vegetable seeds & fruit seeds. It'll grow into a plant after it is dissolved in water". #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/lsVJJb0ll4— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2019
Concerned over the environmental issues, many artisans along with buyers across the country have come up with unique ideas to make their idols eco-friendly and less harmful to rivers and water bodies at the time of immersion. Sarvana Kumar from Tamil Nadu made a small statue of 2-feet size with clay and another 2-feet of paper and pulp and other eco-friendly products.
“We make small statues of 2ft size with clay and another 2ft paper and pulp and other eco-friendly products. We have taken this step so as to enable the statues to dissolve in water easily. The colors applied to the statue are natural. Therefore they don't pollute the water bodies. We make Mangala Vinayaka, Lotus Vinayaka, Cow Vinayaka, Naga Vinayaka, and many others. We are getting good orders this year but Vinayakas made up of seeds are also on high demand,” Sarvana Kumar said.
Another idol maker in Rameshwaram said, “We've been making Ganesha idols varying in sizes starting from three feet. We also make idols of 6,9 and 11 feet in height. The materials used in the making of these statues are just papers which can easily dissolve in water. Another concern is the paint used in coloring the statues. And to cater to that, we have used only water-soluble paint which also mixes into water.”
A 22-feet Ganpati idol has been made of bamboo sticks, paper mash, water-soluble adhesives and colours in Mumbai.
Ajit Khot, the Mumbai sculptor said."Around 15 labourers have worked for more than 6 months to make this 22-feet Bappa idol, weighing around 1500-2000 kg. It is completely made out of eco-friendly and water-soluble materials and its basic structure is expected to melt completely within 45 minutes of immersion into the sea."
Raja Singh, BJP MLA, said, “For the first time in India, we have started making Lord Ganesha idols with pure cow dung. In the Hindu religion, cow dung and urine are considered very spiritual. Our main aim is to save cows. We are also getting a good public response. We are aiming to make two lakh Lord Ganesha idols with cow dung for this year's Vinayaka Chavithi. We have already created 50,000 Ganesh idols by using cow dung. In the upcoming days, our aim is to make 10 lakh idols. I the government is ready to help us in this initiative then we will be able to make more idols through this alternative method.”
(Inputs from ANI)