KSPCB promotes eco-friendly Ganesha idols

KSPCB promotes eco-friendly Ganesha idols

With Ganesha Chaturthi round the corner, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has taken an initiative to promote eco-friendly idols this year.

KSPCB chairman Vaman Acharya said on Monday that the Board had been striving to stress on the need for eco-friendly idols, but so far only 20-25 per cent of this goal has been achieved. 

“While the demand for idols increases each year, the fear of water and air pollution is also increasing. So, we urge people to use only eco-friendly idols and decorations,” Acharya said.

He was speaking at a workshop, ‘How to make and promote eco-friendly Ganeshas’, organised by the Board in association with the National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India (NRCLPI), Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited.

He said the sale of eco-friendly Ganesha idols, especially small ones, were gradually picking up, but not the large idols, as they have more political, emotional and religious sentiments attached to them. 

“So, we are adopting the Pune model, where large idols are stored, painted and sold to other pandals either in the vicinity or distant places. The buyer then repaints the idol with lead-safe paints and celebrates the festival. This way, sentiments are not hurt and large idols made of plaster of Paris are recycled without contaminating the soil,” he said. N Shashidhar, Principal Advisor, NRCLPI, said: “We, along with the Crafts Council of India, have been promoting eco-friendly Ganeshas for a decade. But, till now, we have been able to only reach the concept of lead-safe Ganesha and not yet lead-free.” 

“Lead is a poisonous substance and over the years, due to the festive spirit, it has been entering water bodies, soil and polluting the environment.”

S Narayan, Quality Control Manager, MPVL, said: “Since the last four years, we have been manufacturing and supplying over 500 litres of lead-safe paints to various potters on the outskirts of Bangalore, Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Chikmagalur.
 These paints are made of organic colours which have very little lead.”

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