HT impact, Pollution board begins training for idol makers | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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HT impact, Pollution board begins training for idol makers

Eco-friendly ways of making idols, smaller sizes being encouraged

bhopal Updated: Sep 11, 2012 13:50 IST
HT Correspondent

In a bid to ensure that the thousands of idols to be used during the upcoming Ganeshotsava and Navratri Durga festivals are eco-friendly to the extent possible, the MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) has started a statewide training for idol makers.

The training, which began earlier this month, and such sessions have already been conducted at Dhar, Indore and Gwalior. The training session would be conducted in Bhopal this week (probably on September 13), the MPPCB sources said.

The HT on August 26 reported the rampant use of environmentally harmful materials for idol making, which commenced in the capital last week. Such idols are made all across the state ahead of the festival season. Studies conducted by the central and the state pollution control boards have shown that the water bodies, where the idols are immersed in hundreds after the Ganesha and Durga festivals, get considerably polluted and this pollution has been continuing for years.

There has been a demand that the steps to check pollution should be initiated right from the idol-making stage, so that the harmful impact of the idols could be minimised. However, owing to the easy availability and low cost of the materials like plaster of Paris and chemical dyes/paints idol makers rampantly use them.

The HT also found that most of the idol makers had no idea about the detrimental effects of the materials they use and thus, give no second thought to the process.

Now, the training being conducted by the MPPCB involves informing idol makers about the adverse effects of the use of plaster of Paris and chemical paints and dyes for making idols and the ways of making eco-friendly idols. Earthen or paper-mache idols of small size decorated with natural and vegetable dyes are the best forms of idols, they are being told.

“We would be continuing our training for this entire month and repeat this during the coming years. We want to sensitise the idol makers about the environmental aspect of their process,” chairperson of the MPPCB, NP Shukla said.

Though concerned citizens feel that the initiative has come a bit late considering the fact that the Ganesh festival is to start next week, but they think at least it would be partially helpful in changing the idol-making process for the upcoming Durga festival.