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INTRODUCTION:

The Ganesh Festival is one of the most celebrated festival of Indians. Ganesha is the god whom we dont forget to remember before starting any pious activity. This is the reason why Lokmanya Tilak chose Ganesha as a ralling point for Indian protest against British rule because of his wide appeal as The God for Everymen. The festival facilitated community participation and involvement. It served as a meeting ground for comman people of all caste and communities, in a time when social and political gatherings were forbidden by British rule to exercise control over the population. Since then Devout Hindus eagerly await the onset of this auspicious time for the popular elephant headed god, Ganesh to grace their home. The festival is the great unifier as it brings together not only Hindus, but also members of other religious community. Traditionally, clay was used to make Ganesh idols. Over the years however ,plaster of Paris (POP), which is lighter and cheaper, has become the favoured material to mould these idols. Materials such as plastic and thermacol accessories used to decorate these idols are not biodegradable, hence are toxic. Also ,earlier the idols where quite small, today a spirit of competitiveness pervades the celebrations, so that the idols are becoming increasingly large in size. During the Ganesh Visarjan ceremony at the end of the festival the idols are immersed in rivers, seas, ponds, and lakes. This leads to water contamination and pollution.

'Ganpati Bappa Morya Pudhalya Varshi Lavkar Ya'. We say good-bye to our beloved Ganesha, who we treated like a King. We prayed to him, fed him, called family, friends and neighbours over to admire him and take his blessings. And the next day of Ganesh Visarjan the remains of statues lay on beaches. Sometimes bulldozers are required to crush them into particles which leads to dishonouring of our Ganpati Bappa.

ADVANTAGES OF ECO FRIENDLY GANESH IDOLS:


1. Eco friendly Ganesh idols are made from natural ingredients therefore it dose not harm. 2. Coloures used to make these idols are non toxic. 3. They are made from unbaked natural clay, natural fibre, recycled paper and the dyes used to colour the idols are organic or vegetable in origintherefore can disintegrate within four to five hours when immersed. 4. Natural colours like turmeric, geru, multani mitti and water colours are used. 5. The pure spiritual particles (PAVITRAKS) of Ganapati get attracted to a greater extent towards an idol made of mud than to that made of plaster of paris. 6. When making idol manually, idol makers get an excellent opportunity to exhibit their artistic skill.

DISADVANTAGES OF ECO FRIENDLY GANESHA IDOLS


1. It is difficult to find labourers to assist the production of Eco friendly Ganesh idols. 2. Most artians do not have the capital to involve in research and also will not take the risk of trying out new materials.

3. The reason mandals do not want to go for clay idols because it is not possible to make large idols from the materials. 4. The procedure in making eco friendly Ganesha is vast. 5. It is difficult to handle because it is very delicate and heavy. 6. The mould of Ganesha take time to dry.
7. Mud idols develop cracks easily and are prone to breakage. 8. Mud idols cannot be manufactured in different varieties where as plaster of paris come in varieties people want these days. 9. There is shortage of clay, which is not available in Maharashtra .ONE has to procure it from Rajasthan and up North.

ADVANTAGES OF PLASTER OF PARIS GANESH IDOLS:


1. Pop Ganeh idols are light in weight because of which maintaince and handling of idols become easy as compared to mud idols. 2. There is less manual work required as moulds and prints are available in different size and shape. 3. The production of pop idols is very fast. 4. Once the statue is made out of mould it is unbreakable even if we put it in the water. 5. In one day nearly eight to ten idols of plaster of paris are made where as only four idols of mud idols are made.

DISADVANTAGES OF POP GANESH IDOLS


1. Pop idols take several months or years to fully dissolve in water and hence the idol floats on water after immersion. The remains of statues lay on the beaches next day of immersion which leads to dishonouring of our Ganapati Bappa. 2. When making huge idols materials like iron rods, bamboos,glass etc are

required to be inserted within them for support. After immersion all this material float on the surface above the water resource. 3. The chemical paints which are used to decorate the idols contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead carban etc. seep into water as the idols dissolve causing water pollution. 4. Plastic ,thermocol waste,polythene bags containing offering immersed wih the idols does not decompose. This waste simply keeps adding up.

AIMS:
To create awareness among the people to use eco-friendly Ganesha idol instead of plaster of paris Ganesh idols. And also the impact of POP Ganesha on our environment. Promote traditional method of idol making. Encourage people to use eco-friendly decorations in order to save our water bodies . Drawing the young generation to GO GREEN. Encourage the spirit of competitiveness among them in using small clay idol and to use eco-friendly decorations like cloths, wood, papers and other natural materials in creative and innovative way.

SURVEY REPORT:
It is easy to find a non-eco friendly Ganesh mandal as you get one on every turn. But try to find an eco-friendly Ganesh mandal it is difficult to find even one. Although due to lot of awareness the availability of eco friendly Ganesh idols is far less in numbers than the plaster of paris ones.

On trying to find out reasons as to why mandals dont support the clay idols one artist replied,The number of artisans who knew how to work with clay and sculpt idols from mud has diminished greatly. It is difficult to find labourers to assist the production of eco friendly Ganesh idols. Other reason mandals do not want to go for clay idols because it is not possible to make large idols from the materials. It is a custom in Mumbai as to the prestige of a ganesh mandal is measured by how huge the idol is. And most artisans, do not have the capital to involved in research and also will not take the risk of trying out new materials. Mandals say they support POP idols as the production is very fast. In one day nearly eight to ten idols of plaster of paris are made where as only four idols of eco-friendly Ganesh idols are produced. Pop idols are more attractive to look with different shapes and varieties of colours which catch the attention of customers. A member of Lakshchandi height co-op.hgs.soc.mandal said eco friendly Ganesh idols are made from natural ingredients. The natural colours used to make these idols are non toxic. Therefore it does not harm our environment and can dissolve within four to five hours when immersed into water bodies. The eco friendly Ganesh idols made from clay have lot of importance through rituals and for our environment.

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE IDOL ARTIST :

Name of idol maker? Sharad Malankar. Number of years he is working as idol maker? 25-30 years. How many people are working under him? Five to six peoples. Reason for producing eco friendly Ganpati and not POP Ganesh idol? It is the family business, a tradition of our family passed on from generation to generation. Problems faced while making eco friendly Ganesh idol? The procedure of making clay idol is vast. Mud idols develop cracks easily and are prone to breakage. It is difficult to handle because it is very delicate and heavy. There is more manual work as moulds and prints are not available in different size and shapes as in Pop idols. What are the advantages of clay idols? 1. Eco friendly Ganesha are made from natural clay and the dyes used to colour the idol are organic therefore ensure complete solubility. 2. When making idol manually, idol makers get an excellent opportunity to exhibit their artistic skills.

3. Eco friendly Ganesh idols are made from natural ingredients therefore it does not harm. What are advantages of plaster of paris idols? 1. The production of pop idols is very fast. 2. Pop Ganeh idols are light in weight because of which maintaince and handling of idols become easy as compared to mud idols. 3. There is less manual work required as moulds and prints are available in different size and shape. What are the disadvantages of plaster of paris idols? 1. Pop idols take several months or years to fully dissolve in water. 2. When making huge idols materials like iron rods, bamboos,glass etc are required to be inserted within them for support. After immersion all this material float on the surface above the water resource. 3. The chemical paints used to colour the idol is toxic. Do more customers come to purchase clay idol? Yes due to lot of awareness customer come to us especially for buying eco friendly Ganesh idols. Infact we got 10 more bookings for eco-friendly Ganeshas this year. How to promote eco friendly idols and made them available to all mandals?

Educate and train people to make clay idols and make them aware of the polluting impacts of Plaster of Paris and to encourage them to move back into using natural clay. Any suggestions on how to keep our environment clean? Remove the garlands and flowers and put them in paperbags or wrap them in newspaper and not in plastic bags. 2. Distribute food items such as coconut and fruits among poor. 3. Avoiding use of non biodegradable materials such as thermacol ,plastics and other such accessories.

HOW AND WHAT YOU DO TO CREATE AWARNESS IN YOUR BUILDING?


Discuss the importance of eco friendly Ganesha and the issue related to plaster of paris Ganpati idols among friends, relatives and neighbours. Then showing them eco-friendly Ganesh idol and told them the procedure of making small eco friendly Ganesha.

CONCLUSION:
People have become aware of benefits of using Ganesh idols made of mud. As a result, they are choosing and buying these idols. The eco-friendly ganesha shops ran out of stock soon as the demand is more. This shows that there is a willingness among people to change. The only thing hampering the completely eco-friendly ganesha festival

in Mumbai is the low availibity and high maintenance of ganesha idols and decorations.