HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 19, 2013 (Post Noon): 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 Deities are made with plaster of paris (POP), with every passing year, more and more organizers are trying to 'go green' by installing eco-friendly Ganeshas.
In a bid to propagate eco-friendly Deities and save the lakes, this year many organizers have given up on the POP Deities and instead chosen to make Deities 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 Deity 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 Deity. "There is not a single bit of any chemicals. The colors used are only watercolors 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 Deity bigger than the one in Khairatabad is to promote more eco-friendly Ganesha Deities 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 Deity even more appealing is that it will not be immersed in any Deity. Instead, the organizers will be hiring fire engines to dissolve the Deity. "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.
As compared to Ganesha Deities made from POP, the clay Ganesha Deities are more expensive. Pandal organizers are investing amounts ranging from US$3,000 to $15,000 in these very large clay Ganeshas. "Money is not a concern here, the emphasis is to make people realize 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 Deities," says Sai Dutt from the Future Foundation Society.