People from all walks of life are joining into create awareness about the need to use eco-friendly Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi puja and make a positive difference. Some people are coming forward with unique solutions to Plaster of Paris idols and one such innovative idea is the making of Ganapati Idols using Alum. This unique solution which also helps in cleaning water was put forth by Civil engineer Ramesh Kher from Pune.
Large quantities of Alum, or Fitkari, (aluminum sulfate) are used clean portable water in
Aluminum sulfate along with another chemical called sodium aluminate is pumped into lakes to control algae growth. The growth of algae is considered to be one of the main reasons behind murky and smelly water bodies.
Ramesh Kher from Pune who has come up with the idea suggests the Alum Ganesha idols will help in protecting and saving the rivers and lakes.
The main idea here is to make use of the Ganesh idol immersion environment friendly and also bring about a positive change in the health of the lakes, ponds and rivers.
Kher's friend Vivek Kamble, a sculptor, has already carved his very first Ganesh idol from alum.
"He took three days to carve the idol and the result is heartening. We will make some more such idols and see how the images fare on the day of immersion. Generally, three kgs of alum dissolve in three days. If all goes as planned, I plan to manufacture 500 such idols next year, and hope to convince people to be more environment conscious," Kher said.
Madhav Gogte, a veteran ecologist and former principal chief forest conservator,
Maharashtra, endorsed the idea of creating alum Ganeshas. "I am sure the alum crystal idol will be more pleasing aesthetically. I hope more people follow the concept," he said.
The price of a small-sized Alum based Ganesha is around Rs 150/-