BENGALURU: With Ganesh Chaturthi around the corner, concerned citizens gathered at Ulsoor lake on Sunday to attend a workshop to create clay Ganesha idols in an effort to protect the lakes of the city. Bending over half-formed Ganesha idols, almost 250 volunteers had the chance to learn how to make Ganesha idols by hand. The event was organised by Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) in collaboration with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and Bengaluru Downtown Rotary Club. It was an attempt to ‘train the trainers’.
Even though the KSPCB had banned Plaster of Paris Ganesha idols in 2016, many pandals and homes purchase them and immerse the idols in city’s lakes. Appreciating the event, Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun extended support to BBMP and said, “There is still a lot to be done to raise awareness among the general public against the use of PoP Ganeshas.”
The volunteers got their hands dirty while trying to learn how to make a clay Ganesha. “We are training a few who will go on to teach more people. Clay Ganeshas are sustainable, our versions even have seeds and herbs embedded in them so they can blossom into plants when immersed in the backyard or near lakes,” said Raghavendra H S, programme coordinator, BPAC.
Speaking of the process of creation of these idols, Manoj Kumar, member secretary, KSPCB, said, “Children get to play with mud and fashion something out of it. In turn, the toxicity of our lakes will not increase. We are fostering a sense of responsibility through this programme.”
Nisa Ali and Aali Imran, a brother-sister duo, who had heard about the event, said, “Our responsibility towards environment extends beyond religion. We love nature and this is our effort to protect what we love”.