This Thursday, an environmentalist group in the city will ring in the Ganesh season by getting students from more than 80 schools to make eco-friendly idols of the portly God.
The Young Environmentalists Programme (YEP), a Powai-based non-profit trust promoting green causes since 2005, plans to use pure silt from the Powai Lake for making the idols at a day-long eco-Ganesha workshop and competition.
The workshop, in its sixth year, will be held at Powai's Rodas Ecotel. Participants will include students from a number of ICSE, CBSE, international boards and municipal schools, young cancer patients, special children as well as residents of a few housing societies. They will be encouraged to make mini idols from soluble clay, and also decorate them with degradable materials.
"Building eco-Ganeshas is part of the Environment Studies (EVS) projects in many schools, but students often just make scrapbooks at home. We want them to do things hands on," said Elsie Gabriel, founder of YEP, which has been taking students on eco-tours to understand the desalination work at Powai lake. "It is important not to be alienated from one's own local environment."
City-based actor and playwright Gary Richardson will stage a 15-minute play, Public Spaces Dissident, at the workshop. Written two years ago to draw public attention to natural spaces that need protection, the play involves the audience by getting them to vote on an environment issue.
"People don't like to be preached, so we entertain and edify by getting them to script a happy ending," said Richardson.