This year numerous organizations, people and government are laying special emphasis on eco-friendly Ganesh idols. Shri Satguru Aniruddha Upasana Trust (SSAUT), headed by Dr Aniruddha Joshi (popularly known as Bapu), has been creating environment friendly Ganesha idols from paper pulp during the last couple of years. This year the Trust has received over a thousand orders from Mumbai itself.
The Ganesh idols of Satguru Aniruddha Upasana Trust use papier mache and vegetable paints. Since these idols are made from cheap and natural materials, the cost of a finished 12 feet paper pulp Ganesh idols is less than 1500 rupees. The price of small idols range from Rupees 125 to 600. The workshop of Satguru Aniruddha Upasana Trust (SSAUT) which is involved in making the idols is in Bandra.
The growing number of people opting for eco-friendly Ganesh idols is a clear indication of the success of awareness campaign conducted by individuals and organizations. The BMC has already requested Ganesh Committees in Mumbai to use eco-friendly idols and if they are using Plaster of Paris idols to reduce the size.
In Pune, the nerve center of Ganesh Festivals in
Maharashtra, eCoexist and several other organizations are campaigning for Shaddu (Natural Clay) idols.
There are also strong campaigns in other districts in
Maharashtra for pollution free Ganesh Chaturthi. NGOs and governments in Andhra Pradesh, , Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad Gujarat are appealing to people to use clay Ganesh idols painted with natural paints.
The message of eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi has only reached certain sections of the society. Ganesh Chaturthi is a mass celebration and for the campaign to be more effective local language newspapers and electronic media needs to be used more aggressively.