Artist duo sculpt eco-friendly cow dung Ganesha idolsUpdated: Aug 07, 2020 01:30 IST
Two artists, from Thane and Pune, who lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 lockdown, have now come together to sculpt eco-friendly Ganesh idols using natural elements like cow dung, rose water and sandalwood.
Naresh Nagpure, a Thane resident, and his friend Jayendra Gholap from Pune, both 28-year-old art directors, lost their jobs at different agencies recently. Hoping to use their free time productively, the two decided to use their talents for environmental causes and have started creating eco-friendly idols for devotees.
“During the lockdown, people were not keen on giving artists work. We were running out of clients, and I lost my job. We decided to take it positively, and during one of our conversations, Gholap and I came up with this idea to use cow dung to create environment-friendly Ganesha idols. It was the thirst to look for a unique element that prompted us to make use of cow dung, which is also considered holy and pure,” said Nagpure, resident of Panchpakhadi, Thane.
These idols, they say, will be easy to immerse at home, and people can avoid immersion sites during the ongoing pandemic. Working from a studio they set up in Pune, Nagpure and Gholap have made over 35 idols using a mix of cow dung powder, rose water and sandalwood. They have set up a studio in Pune for sculpting the idols.
The idols are priced at around ₹3,000 and are available for sale online. Since July 5, within they have managed to get orders for more than 35 idols within Pune and Thane.
The duo initially tried making the idols from cow dung they sourced from a local cow shed. However, it was not strong enough, so they made use of dung powder instead.
“We did a lot of research and found out that powdered cow dung is used to make eco-friendly products. We then sourced powdered cow dung from Nagpur, Nashik, and Madhya Pradesh, which was easier to shape into idols,” said Nagpure.
Buyers receive a tulsi sapling with each idol. On the day of immersion, the idol can be immersed in a bucket of water at home. By the next morning, it would have dissolved completely and turned into manure, which can be used for the tulsi sapling.
“Those who are keen on immersing the idol in any water body can do so, and it will not harm the environment in any way. As we are getting a good response, we will work on improving the design and having eco-friendly colours for the idols from next year,” said Gholap.
One of the customers who placed an order for the idol, Shanti Lele, 46, resident of Naupada, said, “I was initially very sceptical about the concept. I was looking for eco-friendly idols, and after looking at the pictures they provided, I found it to be a unique idea.”