Eco-friendly Ganesha idols popular among Noida residents
Noida: Amid chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’, residents of Gautam Buddh Nagar brought home idols of Lord Ganesha, especially the ones made with clay, to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. The 11-day festival that began on Friday will conclude on September 21.
Ruchika Kavishwar, a resident of Noida’s Sector 34, has been ordering clay idols of Lord Ganesh from Maharashtra for the past 17 years. “The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi has gained prominence in Noida in the past three to four years. Now, even our neighbours celebrate the festival. We always bring home eco-friendly idols, which we immerse in a pot filled with water placed in our balcony on the day of Ganesh Visarjan,” said Kavishwar.
‘Make your own Ganesha’ pottery workshop is also a concept that has become popular here. “We trained around 30 people from Noida to create their own Ganesh idols out of clay at our workshops, that were held in batches of five to 10 people in the last week of August. This way, residents not only got eco-friendly idols but also learned how to make idols on their own,” said Tanvi Saraiya, a resident of Sector 93, who holds pottery workshops.
Madhurima (goes by her first name), a resident of Sector 41 who attended the workshop, said, “Though I am not into crafts and pottery, I wanted to try this as it felt more personal. It’s eco-friendly and instead of spending money on buying an idol from the market, it is better to spend it on learning to create something that you can call your own.”
Pooja Verma, a resident of Sector 21, who organises the pottery workshops, said many residents use clay Ganesha idols to grow plants after they are immersed in water. “I held online pottery workshops this year, which were attended by over 50 people from across the city. Once the clay idol is immersed in water, many people mix the concoction with soil and manure to grow plants so that they can preserve their beloved Ganesha idols,” said Verma, who crafted a ‘Doctor Ganesha’ this year to pay tribute to the frontline health workers.
Five-year-old Shreyansh Goel, one of Verma’s students, is celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi for the first time this year. “Shreyansh always plays with clay at home, so this year, I decided to enrol him in the pottery workshop to create a Ganesha idol. Though we do not celebrate the festival every year, we did it this year as my son was very excited to celebrate Ganpati Bappa’s birthday with an idol created by him,” said his mother Jaya Goel.
Meanwhile, another form of idol that has become a hit among residents this year are the ones made of chocolate. “A number of people in Noida ordered chocolate Ganesha and modaks this year to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. The idols are made using moulds and the carving on them is handmade. I sold around 50 such pieces this year,” said Smriti Bhatia, a resident of Sector 128, who is a home-chef and chocolatier.
Heena Bajaj, a resident of Sector 78, who brought home a chocolate Ganesha, said, “I will immerse the Ganesha idol in milk after the 10-day long festival and will serve the milkshake produced as prasad in the family. As my kids love sweets, we have been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with chocolate modaks. This year, I decided to bring chocolate Ganesha to do something different and celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly manner,” she said.