Campaign launched in Pune to collect clay sludge from Ganpati idols for reuse by artisans

Published on Sep 07, 2022 12:12 AM IST

Societies, individuals can sign up to contribute their post-immersion clay which will be collected on two designated days at 50 collection points manned by volunteers

Punaravartan organisation, along with several schools and colleges in Pune, has launched a campaign in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to collect clay sludge during Ganesh Chaturthi to send back to the artisans for reuse. (HT PHOTO)
Punaravartan organisation, along with several schools and colleges in Pune, has launched a campaign in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to collect clay sludge during Ganesh Chaturthi to send back to the artisans for reuse. (HT PHOTO)

In a bid to minimise the amount of fresh clay being mined and keep water bodies free of external clay deposits from Ganpati idols, the Punaravartan organisation, along with several schools and colleges in Pune, has launched a campaign in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to collect clay sludge during Ganesh Chaturthi to send back to the artisans for reuse.

Suchismita Pai, director, Social Initiatives of Punaravartan, said, “Natural clay (shaadu maati) is a non-renewable resource used for making several lakh Ganesh idols every year. Post Ganesh visarjan, this clay sludge either forms a layer at the bottom of water bodies or finds its way back into the soil. Considering the epic scale of the festival, it is a resource that can be of value to the artisans for reuse. This is a much more respectful way of disposing of the idols which otherwise are simply thrown away after the festival.”

“It is a first-of-its-kind campaign launched in Pune-PCMC (Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation) to collect clay sludge during Ganesh Chaturthi to send back to the artisans. Many organisations and schools are coming together in this collaborative effort, including CEE, SWaCH, Jeevit Nadi, Oikos, eCoexist, Poornam Ecovision, Global Shapers, Cummins, Swachh Pune-Swachh Bharat and Fergusson college. The collection will take place at residential societies, drop-off points across the city, and a few select ghats for this year,” she said.

Societies, individuals and institutions can sign up to contribute their post-immersion clay which will be collected on two designated days at 50 collection points manned by volunteers. ‘Nirmalya’, a Pune-based initiative for the respectful recycling of floral offerings during Ganpati, was started in a similar manner by eCoexist and SWaCH and diverts over 100 tonne of material away from rivers.

Pai said, “Artisans who are willing to accept the clay sludge have been identified and the sludge will be transported to them after collection. According to the release, pilot tests making idols with recycled clay have been carried out successfully for the last two years. This initiative will help us minimise the amount of fresh clay being mined and it will also keep water bodies free of external clay deposits from the Ganesh idols.”

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