Ganeshotsav mandals gearing up for eco friendly celebrations this year
Udaipur : People are going green and gearing up to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, the birthday of Lord Ganesha in a eco friendly manner. In a bid to prevent pollution of environment and make people aware of the demerits of plaster of paris (PoP) Ganpati idols, LeelaRam Sharma, a retired school teacher in Badodiya village in Banswara, have been advocating eco-friendly Ganpatis made of clay, wood and bio-degradable items. Sharma has not limited his initiative to making eco-friendly Ganesh idols but also helps to create awareness and train sculptors and students on how to create them.
This time he has created ‘Coco-Ganesha’, idol made of coconuts which is a difficult task to do. Sharma have been working on this project upon demand by a Ganeshotsav Mandal from Partapur which did not wanted an idol made from the dangerous PoP material. “The idol is 5.5 feet high and made of more than 425 coconuts and seven kilogram of adhesive. Nothing which is hazardous for the environment has been used in making this idol” the veteran sculptor said.
According to Mahendra Pathak, a headmaster from a govt school in Gadhi, coconut is considered to be a sacred fruit which is kept in every veneration and religious ceremonies. What better could be used to make Ganesh idol as coconut is the purest of all fruits and dear to all Gods.Sharma have been crusading for the cause since early 80s when there was no awareness about the harmful substances that polluted water sources after idol immersions. ” I used clay and mud to make idols and popularized it by giving it free to children and youths. I also told them about the bad effects of paints, chemicals used to make PoP idols and gradually people have started realizing” he said. Sharma specializes in making ganesh idols carved from wood.
He collects waste wood pieces from the neighborhood and carve them to give unique shapes to represent the elephant god. In Udaipur too, Committees preparing for Ganapathi Sthapana on Monday have been preferring eco friendly Ganesh idols. Suresh Suthar, a clay artist in the idol making business for more than a decade in Udaipur said, ” We started making the idols in May and have them of all sizes and colours. We have used only clay and have ensured that no decoration material of plastic or other non degradable substances are taken. Even the colours used are edible so that our lakes and rivers are not polluted even if immersion of idols are done”.