Clay Ganesha idols are gaining favour in the twin cities, with more organisations opting for eco-friendly, chemical-free statues.
Hyderabad: The 11-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival will be commencing on September 9 and massive arrangements at pandals are already in full swing. Although majority of idols are made with plaster of paris (POP), with every passing year, more and more organisers are trying to ‘go green’ by installing eco-friendly Ganeshas.
In a bid to propagate eco-friendly idols and save the lakes, this year many organisers have given up on the POP idols and instead chosen to make idols with clay.
Last year, after gaining a successful response from the public with the 30-foot-tall clay Ganesha, the Youngman Youth Association near Goshala at Lower Tank Bund will put up a 60-foot-tall eco-friendly Ganesha this year. This eco-friendly idol is taller and bigger compared to the famous Khairatabad Ganesha, which is 50-feet tall this year.
A lot of effort has gone into installing this massive ‘Dasavataram Ganesha’. Around 15 artisans from Kolkata have been roped in to construct this 60-foot-tall idol. “There is not a single bit of any chemicals. The colours used are only watercolours and instead of using steel, we are using bamboo sticks,” said Ashutosh, an artisan.
“In the twin cities, the Khairatabad Ganesha is the most famous because of its height and weight. People from far-off places come to visit and take blessings. The idea behind putting up an idol bigger than the one in Khairatabad is to promote more eco-friendly Ganesha idols in the City. Of late, because of the pollution, Hussain Sagar lake has become dirty. Promoting eco-friendly Ganeshas is one small step taken by us to save our lakes,” says P Murali, president of Youngman Youth Association.
What makes this 60-foot-tall idol even more appealing is that it will not be immersed in any lake. Instead, the organisers will be hiring fire engines to dissolve the idol. “We will be hiring around seven to eight fire engines instead of immersing it in a lake. All the remains will then be put into Krishna river, and those who want can take a bit of it and put it in their tulsi plants at home,” adds Murali.
Taking inspiration from this association, this year, many other associations are also planning to put up eco-friendly Ganeshas. The Future Foundation Society at Shalibanda, which installed a 25-foot-tall clay Ganesha last year, will be putting up a taller Ganesha this year.
Pricey, yet popular
As compared to Ganesha idols made from POP, the clay Ganesha idols are more expensive. Pandal organisers are investing amounts ranging from Rs.2 lakh to Rs.10 lakh in these clay Ganeshas. “Money is not a concern here, the emphasis is to make people realise the adverse effect of chemicals on our natural resources. We are happy that our efforts are showing and every year more and more people are opting for eco-friendly Ganesha idols,” says Sai Dutt from the Future Foundation Society.
A hit with resident associations
This year, many resident welfare associations are installing clay idols. The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), which already started promoting eco-friendly idols, says that so far as many as 150 residential associations have opted for clay idols. Even individual families are coming forward to take home clay idols.
GHMC to promote clay Ganeshas
Last year, the GHMC claimed to have presented nearly 100 clay idols to each corporator to be distributed in his or her respective divisions. The year too, the civic body plans to do the same.