Rolling out: Ganesh idol made of 30K tissue papers in Mumbai

  • Badri Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 14, 2015 17:50 IST

With Ganeshotsav round the corner, Mumbaiites are set to unveil their eco-friendly Ganesh idols across Mumbai.

Giving eco-friendliness a unique touch, Digambar Manikar and his son, Rajesh, have made a one-of-its-kind 22-foot idol weighing 150kg using 30,000 tissue papers at Vile Parle (East). The idol, which is stands tall on bamboo sticks, costs Rs 80,000.

The father-son duo has been making eco-friendly idols since 2008. This year, they have trained children between 12 and 18 years from Vile Parlecha Peshwa Bal Gopal Mitra Mandal to create eight idols made using tissue paper – ranging from 6ft to 22ft high – to be unveiled on September 17 at Vile Parle, Jogeshwari, Shastri Nagar, Andheri and Santacruz.

The Ganesh idol made of tissue paper at Vile Parle

“We put together a 22-foot layout of bamboo sticks stuck together using natural gum. We then mixed a large mould of tissue papers and newspapers to be placed on the bamboo sticks with a little water. Within three months, the idol’s impression was ready,” said Rajesh Manikar.

“The idol takes about five minutes to dissolve in water. The bamboo sticks will be taken out after the immersion at Juhu,” said one of the mandal’s members.

Among the other eco-friendly idols is a 25-foot Ganesh idol made of fibre, which will be made at the Kranti Sarvajanik Mandal shed and installed at Kol Dongri, Andheri (East). “Next year, the same idol will be modified using different colours, designs and shapes. The idea is to reduce the use of Plaster of Paris (PoP), protect the environment and use our resources to the maximum,” said Abhishek Vyas, treasurer of the mandal.

A fibre idol is a one-time investment and costs around Rs 5 lakh, while making clay idols, which is an every year affair, costs at least Rs 2 lakh.

An idol of fibre at Andheri (East)

Andheri siblings Rohit Vaste, 35, Sushil, 34, and Pranay, 30, have chosen to drfit away from the clay and PoP idols’ concept and adopt a novel idea — making idols using papier mache, which is a mixture of paper and glue, or paper and flour with water that hardens on getting dry. The Vaste siblings have for the first time made more than 100 idols from papier mache.

“Papier mache idols dissolve in flowing water within one-and-a-half-hour and in still water within three hours. Clay idols take more time and harm the aquatic environment,” said Rohit Vaste, adding these idols weigh only one-and-a-half kg and cost Rs 5,500.”

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