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article imageMumbai promoting eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi festival

By Sravanth Verma     Aug 5, 2014 in Environment
Mumbai - With a month to go for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival when idols of the Hindu god Ganesha will be immersed in the ocean, the city of Mumbai is encouraging its residents to purchase eco-friendly clay Ganesha idols.
Sculptors and manufacturers are completing work on their Ganesha idols which will soon be put on sale for the festival. The state pollution control board (MPCB) has reached out to idol makers to promote more eco-friendly Ganesha idols at reasonable prices.
Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols are cheaper than clay idols, however, clay models are more environmentally friendly. Thanks to the pollution board's initiative, manufacturers are working to bring this cost difference down. They plan to cut the price difference to 25 - 30 percent this year, down from 50 percent last year. They have also increased the production of clay idols by nearly 30 percent. The MPCB will also be promoting manufacturers who sell clay idols.
"We have been in the manufacturing of Ganesh idols for 12 years now. However, until last year, we manufactured 2 clay idols against 15 PoP idols. But this year, there is a 30 per cent reduction in PoP and 6 out of 10 pre-ordered idols are made of clay. Citizens have become more concerned for the environment," said Nisha Shelke, owner of Maurya Ganesh Arts in Aundh.
"The raw materials of both PoP and clay has become expensive than last year. But if the PoP rates have increased by 10 per cent, the clay rates have increased by 5 per cent. Thus the price margin has reduced between the two materials," added Chaitanya Tagade of Shree Ganesh Kala Kendra.
The MPCB will also conduct awareness programs to increase the use of clay idols. "There will be advertisements in television channels and local newspapers, workshops for citizens and training for clay idol makers as well to help them understand how to promote the eco friendly idols. All this will start in early august," said J S Salunkhe, sub regional officer, MPCB.
However, if buying an idol isn't your thing and you want to have the fun of making your own idol, the Times of India has a DIY eco-friendly Ganesh idol guide.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a prominent Indian festival held in honor of the elephant-headed god Ganesha. Worshiped as the remover of obstacles, Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati, and the story and symbolism of Ganesha and his elephant head is one of the most popular in Hindu lore.
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