It’s time to welcome Lord Ganesha to our homes, societies and clubs once again. While Amdavadis are excited about welcoming Ganesha, markets and shops are decking up as the festival also marks the beginning of the festive season.
However, with increasing awareness about saving nature and the rise in the number of natural calamities, several Amdavadis have planned to not only bring an eco-friendly idol home but also immerse it in an environment sensitive manner even as artificial ponds are being readied by the civic body. Some are even enrolling themselves in eco-friendly idol making workshops being organized in the city. AT takes a look.
IDOL MAKING WORKSHOPS, ARE THE NEW FAD
“There is a huge demand for eco-friendly Ganesha idol. More and more people are becoming aware about the environment pollution which is a healthy sign,” says Harvika Patoliya, founder of a design studio in Navrangpura which hosted an eco-friendly Ganesha idol making workshop recently.Harvika, a chemical engineer, says, “Two years back, I’d made a terracotta Ganpati. Since then, I’d been planning to host a workshop.”
Dharmishtha Suthar, a freelance artist and interior designer, who is the trainer of the workshop, says, “If we immersing the idol in a bucket or tub in home, we know where the water is going. Terracotta and clay idols can be immersed in a separate container at home and later used in gardening.”
CLAY, TERRACOTTA OR POP
Educational institutes are pitching in to equip students with the skill of making an eco-friendly sculpture ahead of the festival. Anant National University hosted a similar workshop on its premises on September 8. Dhara Dave, trainer and faculty, says, “I taught them three methods of making an idol, i.e, clay modelling, coil method and slab method. While plaster of paris is nonbiodegradable and harms water bodies, clay is not only an eco-friendly option but is also more elastic and mouldable than PoP.”
Kalgi Patel, a third year student, who participated in the workshop, said, “We are working on different size of idols with a different design. I am working on a 1.5 feet idol of clay.”
If you are going to buy an idol and want to check whether it is made of clay or PoP, check its sound. Dave, an architecture grad from MS University, Baroda, says, “Most of the times they are not coloured at the base and will help you identify whether it’s made of clay or PoP.”
While you must have heard of edible Ganesha like chocolate or boondi or cake, you can also make one out of flour.
Dharmishtha, a Kanoria Centre for Arts alumnus, says, “Mix
maida, salt and oil and knead it into a fine dough. Then divide it into the limbs, body and head to give shape. You can use turmeric,
kumkum, kesar, methi and coriander powder to colour it and opt for diamond, pearl embellishments.”
Dave says, “One can even opt for coconut and use non-synthetic dye instead of chemicals. At our workshop, some even tried putting seeds in the clay while making the idol. During visarjan, these idols would be immersed in water-filled pots and the clay would settle. Seeds might germinate by one week and turn into plants.”
You can even try making an eco-friendly idol out of peepal leaves by using cardboard and celebrate the Gajanana festival. “We are creating artificial ponds in our city’s seven zones. Our focus will be on maintaining cleanliness at pandals. We will have a competition for eco-friendly idols,” said mayor Bijal Patel.