Ganesh Chaturthi
If you don’t want to join this polluting bandwagon, and want to go eco-friendly, there are organic Ganesha idols you can get this Chaturthi.
Image source: TMAD website

Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi, which falls on September 5 this year, have already begun in Bengaluru.

Like every year, this year too, concerns have been raised about the use of idols made with plaster of paris (PoP) and toxic chemicals. These idols often end up in our lakes and water bodies causing severe pollution.

And according to a Hindu report, over 30,000 PoP Ganesh idols have already entered the city this year, leaving the BBMP with the massive task of ensuring their proper disposal.

If you don’t want to join this polluting bandwagon, and want to go eco-friendly, there are organic Ganesha idols you can get this Chaturthi.

EcoGanesha: This is a concept promoted by the Women Entrepreneurs Belagavi (WEB) Association, a development-oriented organisation.

This Ganesha can be a part of your home even after the “visarjan”. The idol comes with basil and tomato seeds inserted in the bottom. So after the idol dissolves, the seeds germinate within seven days. 

Sonali Netalkar, who is a part of WEB told The News Minute that while the process of making the idol remains the same, the clay used is a little more porous. 

"The clay is commonly called Cocopeat – clay mixed with coconut husk. This clay has higher moisture retention than the red soil that is commonly used. The idol will be made using molds and then will be hardened. After that the seeds will be inserted in the base.The 'visarjan' cannot be a conventional one. Instead of immersing in water, the idol should be watered and it will dissolve. Within seven days the seeds will germinate," she said.

The idols are all 10 inches tall and come with a pot to grow the plants in. They are priced at Rs 1,151 each. They are available for delivery across several cities in India.

To order or to know more, contact the numbers provided in the poster below.

To Make A Difference (TMAD): This city-based NGO has been campaigning for an eco-friendly Ganesh Chathurthi for six years now. 

TMAD has tied up with vendors who supply them with Ganesha idols made of only clay, and takes care of the delivery to customers. 

"We do not use colours because natural colours are expensive," says Anil Kumar, Joint Secretary, TMAD. 

Ganesha idols with TMAD come in 6 sizes with prices ranging from Rs 120 to Rs 1,900. 

Anil adds that the demand for eco-friendly Ganeshas have increased over the years. And this year they had to reject some orders due to heavy demand. 

Apart from clay Ganeshas being an eco-friendly option, Kumar says that their initiative is also aimed at clamping down high prices for idols. 

The prices are demand-based and during the days leading up to the festival, the prices shoot up, he explains. But their prices are constant. 

At present, TMAD is delivering in select parts of the city including Bannerghatta Road, Bellandur, Marathahalli, Whitefield and Mahadevpura. They also have stalls in Sarjapur AECS Layout and Tippasandra.  

To order or to know more, visit their website www.tmad.org

Image source: http://www.tmad.org/

Bimba The Art Ashram: At Bimba, located at Basavanagudi, Ganeshas and Gowris are made of fully soluble unbaked river or pond silt by traditional potters.

However, TD Deepak, co-founder of Bimba feels that we are over-focused on the term eco-friendly.

“Ganesha, by definition, should be eco-friendly. And if you are going to worship purity, it should be pure on every level of the process, right from creation to celebrations,” he says.

Their idols are detailed and are painted with colours derived from natural substances.

Prices start from Rs 500 and Rs 200-300 for Ganeshas and Gowris respectively. Sizes can go up to 3 ft. Bimba makes around 100-150 idols every year with many placing orders several months in advance.

Deepak also stresses on the need for idols to be aesthetically beautiful and hence their focus on poses, texture, borders and colours of idols.

“We want to share the process of celebration with people,” he says.

“As consumers, we need to be sensitive about what and how we are consuming. We may celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi by buying an eco-friendly idol, but we need to be as responsible throughout the year,” he adds.

Bimba does not undertake online orders or home delivery. To buy idols from Bimba, go to Bimba The Art Ashram, 42 Ratna Vilas road, Opp Canara Bank, DVG Road branch, Basavanagudi, Bengaluru 560004 or call: 080 2662 2639.

Bimba The Art Hut‎/Facebook

A Hundred Hands: This NGO in the city has been promoting the use of eco-friendly Ganeshas for six years now.

The idols are made of clay, which is not baked but air-dried. They are moulded or hand-sculpted and are painted using natural substances like turmeric, multani mitti and gheroo. 

“The idea is that once you immerse it, you can put the mud back in your garden or for any other use. We also give seeds that people can plant later. We want it to support a plant even after immersion,” Dr Sonia Dhawan, trustee of A Hundred Hands, says.

Sizes of the idols vary from 6 inches to 2 ft and prices range between Rs 475 to 6,000.

Those interested can send the NGO an email following which the latter will forward them a picture of the different idols. Customers can select, make payment and collect it from the NGO office whenever they want to.

Most of their idols this year have been booked, with a remaining few still on offer.

For more details, visit http://www.ahundredhands.com/index.html

Image source: http://www.ahundredhands.com/

EcoChoice: You can also buy eco-friendly Ganeshas from this portal. While all the idols are made of clay, there are coloured and non-coloured versions. The coloured idols have been painted using natural colours. They have four sizes – 7, 9, 12 and 24 inches.

Orders can be placed online or idols can be collected from their stores in Indiranagar and JP Nagar.

To know more, visit: http://www.ecochoice.in/collections/eco-ganesha

Image source: www.ecochoice.in