VIJAYAWADA: It looks like the Ganesh idols made of clay have failed to catch the imagination of the people what with the least preference given to them in the society.
Due to the availability of plaster of paris idols in gigantic sizes, the denizens in the city prefer them over eco-friendly ones. It seems there is a need to make people more aware of the clay idols.
Around 1,400 Ganesh idols are situated at various places in the city whereas the count may reach 1,800 in various sizes by this year. Even though efforts are being made by the AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) and various voluntary organisations, the craze among the youth to celebrate the festival with a variety of Ganesh idols, which are not eco-friendly, is adding to the pollution problem in the city.
Idols made of plaster of paris in various hues and colours have flooded the market this year. The availability of these idols is attracting the children and youth. “The idols without colour are not in demand. We sell around 500 clay idols below 2 feet every year. However, the sale of PoP idols of all sizes crosses more than 4,000 in the city as a majority of the people prefer attractive idols to eco-friendly ones,” said clay idol-maker from Hanuman Junction S Nageswara Rao.
Another idol-maker D Ramanjaneyulu said the decreasing number of clay and mud artisans has benefited PoP idol-makers much. “PoP idols are gaining in popularity among the organisations that install these idols. This year, the prices will be high due to the hike in raw materials for the PoP idols,” he added.
B Siva Kumari, Head of the Botany Department at Andhra Loyola College, said that the government should offer some incentives to PoP idol-makers to prepare clay idols.
An environmentalist Nagi Reddy said that small to giant-sized idols decorated with harmful products containing heavy metals like mercury and lead are extremely dangerous to the ecosystem.