Celebrating Bappa, the ecological way!

In his speech on Independence Day to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a wake-up call for an India without plastics. Approving the impulse of the Prime Minister for a clean India, people in the states of Telugu have started a revolution of their own to avoid Plaster of Paris (PoP) this Ganesh Chaturthi . Ecological Ganeshas are all the rage this holiday season, as people seem to have found a dozen ways to make their Bappas ecological.



Many like Meghana Lanka, a technician from Hyderabad, swear by Ganesha clay idols made with natural colors. I have been using Clay Ganeshas for more than a decade. PoP idols come in beautiful colors, of course; but in this way it helps me to celebrate the festival without any fault of causing harm to nature, she says.


Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and the Great Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (GHMC) have teamed up to distribute clay Ganeshas in 33 parts of the city, including Collar Street, Lumbini Park, KBR Park and Kalakrithi Art Gallery. In Vizag The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) went one step further and conducted a clay idol manufacturing workshop for students in the city, in collaboration with a local NGO. Unlike Meghana, who made the change years before, there are now many new buyers for the good Ganesha clay made with kumartuli clay mixed with bamboo and jute now. Not only Ganesha clay, people have many more options to choose from this year. So that the 10-day festival is not dangerous for nature, many of the creators have devised innovative and ecological options.



The teenagers Hyderabadi Pragya Nagori and Mridu Nagori have managed to create a stir with their plainable variety of Ganeshas. Embedded with seeds of Tulsi or Calendula, these plantable Ganeshas can be dipped at home after which you can plant them in your backyard. The seeds will become food for aquatic creatures when these idols are submerged in bodies of water. “We strive to raise awareness by visiting gated communities and public parks, to generate more attention to this cause. The response has been slow but we have not given up, says the duo.

Kiranmai of Honeyarts in Vizag, went a step ahead and put the plantable idols on a pot of soil. “After the puja is done, for nimajjanam, they can just keep adding water on the idol and it will melt slowly in three weeks or so. Plus, this way, the memory of the festival will stay in our home forever, ”she says.



While clay and seed Ganeshas have been around for a while in the city, chocolate Ganeshas seem to be the favorite this season in Vizag. S Dileep from Chocomate claims they have been making the idols since five years but those in Vizag are only buying the idols lately. “Many opt for idols of milk, dark and white chocolate varieties in sizes that vary from 3 inches to 6 feet and more in size. But through these years, customers hailing from North India and Bangalore seem more interested in it, ”he says, adding,“ Many are sceptical about the nimajjanam process or eating the idol. But melting it in hot milk and distributing the chocolate milk as prasad is something most are comfortable with, which is why Vizag is finally opening their doors for these Ganeshas too. ”


NB Devi, from Chocolate Craft Club, says: It's such an ecological way to make nimajjanam, you can even add nuts/muesli/chocolate chip ingredients for an additional flavor. A special dish for the day with super healthy foods. It is also something that many choose, Devi adds. The dishes come with multi-millet and ragi panasa kudumulu with chutneys served in panasaaku, green millet and traditional millet modaks made with freshly harvested organic seeds, jilledu kayalu flavored with coconut and sesame made with multi-grain flours and millet and stuffed with Organic jaggery and raw sugar, she says.



Narayan of Good Seed Living, who has been making ecological idols for many years, tells us that the Gones Ganeshas are a great success among buyers. Made with cow dung, turmeric and rice flour, these Gomaya Ganesha idols are completely biodegradable and are also considered auspicious, says Narayan, and adds: We also conduct workshops for children where they can make their own clay ganeshas. This creates a familiarity with nature-friendly idols from an early age and I have witnessed how they are happy to make their own little Ganesha. ”



Recently, TRS Labor President KT Rama Rao shared a tweet, urging the Hyderabadis to adopt Ahmedabad's model of placing idols on the banks of water bodies instead of submerging them. The GHMC has quickly established 25 artificial ponds throughout the city for idol immersion. Visakhapatnam City Police also launched a special website for pandales in the city, to curb the height of Ganesh idols that are immersed in the city, and those about 8 feet are required to be immersed in the place. With the authorities and the citizens together, it seems that Ganesh Chaturti's celebrations in the two Telugu states have become green in a big way. Compiled by: [email protected] and Sravan [email protected]