Ganesha idols of all colours, shapes and sizes are back on the roadsides and neighbourhood shops. Vying with the colourful ones are the eco-friendly Ganeshas, thanks to the many groups in the city who are working towards encouraging people to either buy a clay Ganesha or try their hand at making one.
This year, a Gober Ganesha will be hitting the market for the first time, thanks to efforts by eCoexist. Nikita of eCoexist, says “The latest addition to our line of clay Ganesha is one that is made using cow dung alone. We have also used biodegradable material in making the accessories and clothes that go into decking up the idol.” She said designers have also drawn inspiration from the Shola plant grown only in West Bengal. “This is a light-weight plant that is first dried and later used for carving. This ensures that no two designs look the same,” she adds.
A Hundred Hands that always stocks clay Ganeshas. Instead of selling clay idols, this organisation has decided to encourage people to buy the clay variety. Mala Dhawan, founder and trustee of A Hundred Hands, says “Rampant commercialisation is what has led to the natural disasters that we are facing today. We want to remind people to conserve nature and not resort to commercial means of celebrating the festival. We are asking people to buy clay Ganeshas or simply buy a lump of clay and mould it into the idol themselves.” Mala also hopes people will use natural materials to make these idols.
To Make A Difference, an NGO, has been in the business of making and selling Ganesha idols in clay for the last eight years. Anil Kumar, a volunteer, says “We take into consideration two factors when making these idols--- availability and cost. We usually procure clay from either Tumakuru or Hoskote. Our idols start from those of nine-inch height to those that are three and a half feet tall. The cost starts from Rs 100 and goes up to Rs 2,300. We sell anything between 800 and 900 Ganeshas every year,” he adds.
Atharv has decided to play up the concept of the Ambuja elephant this year. “The natural looking Ambuja elephant is the highlight this year. The idols are made from clay, natural dust that is biodegradable and water-colours. Even the finishing touches are given using the materials that are not harmful,” explains Madhavi Abhijeet Jadhav, the owner.
Startup ‘Puja N Pujari’ has reeled out a ‘GaneshaHabba’ hamper this year. The puja box includes 29 items like clay Ganesha and Gowri idols, turmeric powder, ‘kumkum’, dry fruits, blouse pieces, dhoti and more. This eco-friendly hamper is suitable for both the South Indian and North Indian celebrations. “After we saw that many people were struggling to find puja specific items, we struck upon the idea of making the experience convenient, compact and reasonable,” says Deepa L, assistant manager at ‘Puja N Pujari’.
Here’s where you can buy clay Ganeshas
Atharv: 99455 31228
E-CoExist: 90491 46644
The Living Store: 99013 03390
Seshadri: 93423 03247
To Make A Difference Foundation: 98809 94182.
Ganesha Puja Box: 74066 66730.