Protecting the environment has its cost, but the people of Indore, especially the younger generation, appear keen on going green.
They are choosing Ganesh idols made of clay over the ones made of plaster of paris (PoP), even though the latter are much cheaper.
Says Sunil Pingle, who buys clay idols from Pen, near Pune, and sells them in Indore, "It is the children who demand clay idols. Though some of the parents balk when they hear the cost of clay idols, they finally buy it because of the kids."
This year Pingle has sold over 2,000 idols of varying sizes, around 20 per cent more than last year. But the high price of clay idols puts off many people.
On an average a clay idol will cost five times more than the one made from plaster of paris. For example a nine inch Ganesh idol would cost Rs 500 if it is made of clay and the same would cost only Rs 100 if made from plaster of paris.
There is a valid reason for this. It takes at least eight days for sculptors to make a single clay idol, while if you have the raw material, you can make as many plaster of paris idols as you want in much less time.
Clay idols have been sold in Indore for years, though they have been fewer in number. But this year after the district administration put a ban (on August 19) on making of new PoP idols, awareness appears to have increased.
Ramsevak Pal, who is selling both PoP and clay idols at the Bengali crossing, says, "This year I have made larger number of clay idols and their demand has also increased, but it is equally true that many people opt for the PoP idols after they hear the high price of the clay idols."
Suresh Lokre, who works in the private firm and lives in Rambagh area, says, "I wanted to purchase Ganesh idol made of clay but I could not as the cost of the idol itself would have eaten into the budget I had kept for the entire 10 days."