Poor awareness on eco-friendly idols

Idol makers demand uniform norms across the State

Befriending environment:  An artist gives finishing the touch to idols.DH photosThere has been no vigil against the sale and manufacture of traditional clay idols painted with harmful paints.

Ganesha idols are manufactured at two centres in the town - one on Kataripalya road; and another at Tambihalli on the outskirts where plaster of paris idols are made.

Public who throng both the places are not sparing any thought to purchase an eco-friendly model.

Attraction-centred

“All we want is an attractive idol with eye-catching colours,” said many purchasers. Some were even unaware of the idols made of plaster of paris.

They were worried about offering puja to the idol without any colour. Lack of awareness was apparent.

Viji Karthikeyan, an officer at the local office of Karnataka Pollution Control Board said that a meeting was held on July 13 on celebration of an eco-friendly Ganesha festival.

The idol manufactures had been asked to purchase lead-free paint produced by Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited. He said that the town and city municipal councils in the district had been told to create public awareness on the need to observe the festival in an environment-friendly manner.

Story of the other side

However, manufacturers have a different version. They seek uniform norms across the State.

“The rules on eco-friendly idols should be enforced all across the State. There would be no tangible benefit if the norms are brought into effect at some places only,” said Somashekhar, who makes idols on Kataripalya road.

The idols made by him are sold in Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore Rural districts.

The idols without colour are  are not in demand. He sells around 100 such idols during an year. Majority of the public prefer attractive idols over eco-friendly ones, he said.

One more meeting will be held on August 25 to discuss modalities for common immersion facilities. However, by that time, the sale of coloured idols would be a brisk pace. Neither any public awareness could be created at that point of time.

The district administration and the Pollution Control Board should  jointly work out a strategy on promoting eco-­friendly idols.

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