HYDERABAD: Colourful Ganesh idols sold alongside streets have always fascinated us. At the same time, we also know that idols, made of PoP are harmful to the environment. Moving beyond understanding these harmful effects, a few environment-conscious youngsters in the city took up responsibility to make their own Ganesh idols.
Aakriti Gogireddy, a doctor by profession started making idols three years ago when she came across a Do-it-Yourself Facebook page. “I love creating something new. Three years ago, when I stumbled upon this page, I decided to make one at home for Ganesh Chaturthi. I have been making one every year since then,” she says.
The idol she made this year is one feet tall. “I created a sitting Ganesha with a crown for him and decorated the trunk too. I am not adding any colour. I will only decorate it with a garland my grandmother will make,”she shares.
Kiran Devata is another youngster from the city who is making a Ganesh idol at home. “I used a mould to get the perfect shape. The idol is a bit taller than one feet. I am planning to decorate it with turmeric, kumkum and leaf paste to get the green colour,” says the founder of the NGO, Nature’s Army. He is not only making idols for his home, but also distributing it for free. “We have given away about 5,000 idols so far and we will do so till 1 pm on September 17,” he informs, adding that they got the clay for the idols from Krishna river bank.
Kiran’s inspiration to make clay idols comes from the story of Ganesha’s birth where Parvati created an idol using her natural bathing ingredients and then gave life to it. “I believe that making one’s own idol is the right way to perform pooja instead of buying PoP idols made for commercial purposes,” he opines.
Taking idol making to another level and adding more elements to a simple clay idol is Geetha Bhavana, a corporate employee. She also made a clay umbrella and a clay laddu with the idea to make it a complete clay idol.
“I used a mould for the shape and avoided using any colour on the idol. I will deck it up with lotus flowers on either sides and will use rose petals for the rest of the decoration,” she explains further. Geetha took inspiration from a few children who were trying to make an idol at a workshop. “I thought, if they can do it, why can’t I,” she adds.Besides these Hyderabadis who are using clay, Manik Hippalgaonkar will be using a mixture of natural ingredients – turmeric and kumkum. He added ash to give silver colour.
“We always had PoP idols. Due to increasing awareness on harmful effects of PoP, I decided to make a clay idol. As this festival is very special for me, I did not want it to be a reason to harm the environment,” he shares.