2,138 Bengalureans create Ganeshas, a new world record

2,138 Bengalureans create Ganeshas, a new world record

Go Green Ganesha

A clay Ganesha idol made at the event. (DH Photo/Janardhan B K)

Creating a new Guinness World Record, 2,138 Bengalureans collectively sculpted hundreds of clay Ganesha idols at the National College Grounds here on Sunday. It was an emphatic statement of eco-friendliness and a clear message against polluting Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols.

The official adjudicator for Guinness, Swapnil Dangarikar, put his official stamp on the new record under the category of ‘most people sculpting with modeling clay’. The previous record of 589 participants for such a clay-modeling exercise is now history.

Of the 2,201 participants who had registered for the Sunday event, 63 were disqualified. But the ones who dived into the record-making attempt did so with an unprecedented passion for a green Bengaluru. “This is a new record for a good cause, and we are happy to be associated with it,” Dangarikar told DH.

Taking the lead in sculpting the clay idols were Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board chairman K Sudhakar. People of all ages, school students and senior citizens included were among the enthusiastic participants.

Lauding the initiative as a small gift to the city, the mayor said efforts had been on for years to progressively reduce the use of the polluting PoP idols in the city. This year, the Palike has chosen to completely do away with such idols and opt for eco-friendly alternatives.

The event was a precursor to the 57th edition of the Bengaluru Ganesha Utsav to be held in the city between September 2 and 12. The sculptors had to sculpt the idols, all at the same time.

Titled ‘Making of the Clay Seed Ganesha’, the event was free for all.

The record attempt came with an eco message: The irreversible damage caused to aquatic life and lakes by immersion of idols made of Plaster of Paris and chemical paints. The sustainable alternative: Creating one’s own Ganesha with eco-friendly clay. The use of clay, as the ‘clay seed Ganesha’ organisers explained, will significantly reduce the number of non-sustainable POP idols being made, sold and immersed in lakes, triggering immense pollution.

Shri Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha, the organisers of this Go Green Ganesha initiative, had provided the clay and other necessary material to the participants at the venue. Interestingly, the clay had come embedded with seeds of flowering or fruiting trees. Once the immersion of the clay Ganeshas is complete, the seeds would germinate and plants grow out of it.