BANGALORE: Eco-friendly Ganesha idols are coming back in a small way, despite fears that they may be eclipsed by Plaster of Paris (PoP) ones. Many citizens and associations installing idols made of clay and painted with water colours this Ganesh Chaturthi.
M V Kumar, organising secretary of Vinayaka Mitra Mandali in Jayanagar 8th Block, said the association has been using clay idols for some time now. “We understand the impact PoP idols have on the environment and we want to help stop this (practice). We will immerse the clay idol in Yediyur lake on Sunday.”
The Bangalore Advocates’ Association is installing an environment-friendly idol at the High Court premises, said the association’s convener A P Ranganath.
Meanwhile, around 600 students of Gopalan International School will create an image of Ganesha on their school premises to create awareness about promoting eco-friendly Ganesha idols.
The sustainability team at Infosys recently organised a workshop on making idols in an eco-friendly manner. Around 700 employees were taught how to use clay and vegetable dye to create idols.
Aahar Utsav, a restaurant at Banashankari 3rd Stage, is installing a two-ft Ganesha idol, made entirely out of clay and using water colours, as a part of an initiative to contribute to the green cause. “We will immerse the idol in a well on our premises and the clay that we get after the idol dissolves will be used to make manure. Hence, we are recycling the idol, leading to zero wastage,” said restaurant owner Arun.
Even the plastic and paper used at the restaurant during the festival will sent to solid waste management plants so that they can be recycled.
Idols Cost More
Meanwhile, people who hope to buy Ganesha idols this year are in for a shock as the prices have gone up considerably from last year.
According to buyers, there is an increase of at least 15-20 per cent.
Vinayaka Mitra Mandali’s Kumar said the association paid Rs25,000 for the idol this year. “For a similar six-ft idol, we paid around Rs22,000 last year. Idol makers are saying that the cost of materials as well as labour charges have increased and that they cannot do anything.
But we customers are at the receiving end as we don’t have an option but buy the idols at the prices quoted.”
Similarly, the advocates’ association paid Rs10,000 for their idol. Ranganath said they had bought a better idol last year for around Rs8,500.
The rates of flowers too have shot up. A lotus now costs Rs10, while it was Rs5 last time. A kg of marigold costs Rs240, while it was around Rs100 last year.