Mumbai After visiting several villages in the outskirts of Mumbai, members of a Ganesh mandal in Lower Parel found that most villages did not have adequate power. This first hand experience led them to focus their theme this year around saving electricity within megacities that will help protect the environment, and help supply excess units to these villages. With 300 saplings planted along the pandal premises and 3,000 recycled compact discs used for decorations, the Panchganga Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal in Lower Parel has several energy-saving models at its pandal that display the advantages of using wind energy, solar energy, mechanical energy, hydroelectricity, food waste energy, saving cooking gas by using copper utensils and benefits of recycling.“The idea is to move away from carbon-emitting forms of electricity consumption and reduce our overall carbon footprint,” said Sumeet Patil, art director who ideated and developed the pandal. “One unit of electricity saved is equivalent to 1.25 unit of electricity produced. Our attempt is to make devotees and citizens understand that turning off lights and fans when not in use at their homes, can light up those houses engulfed in darkness.”With pressing environmental issues faced by the financial capital from dump yards running out of space with large quantities of garbage, loss of tree cover, increase in air pollution levels and shortage of water, the mandal decided to raise awareness about safeguarding the environment, said members.“While our energy saving models displays how citizens can shift to alternate forms of energy, we used the concept of dispersion of light to decorate the pandal and reused 235 coloured plastic bottles for this. The bottles were kept under lights installed along both sides of the pandal leading up to the idol,” said Patil adding that LED lights were used to ensure less electricity consumption.Celebrating its 28th year with a green Ganesh idol, the entire pandal was constructed in 24 hours between August 11 and 12 by murtikars (idol makers) from across the city, including eight visually-impaired Mumbaiites. Three blind women – Yogita Tambe, 31, Manashree Soman, 24, and Shabnam Ansari, 16, – made the floral origami decorations using paper and woollen threads for the entire pandal and also made eight wind mill models.“We cannot see but our other senses help us realise the amount of energy which is wasted daily. Through these small efforts we can light up these underprivileged homes,” said Tambe, who works as a music and history teacher at Asmita Vidyalaya, Jogeshwari East.All energy saving models has directions on how they can be used in households written in Marathi and in braille. The mandal spent Rs3.5 lakh to construct the pandal.“We also developed models using sensors that light up any system just by within its range. Every year, we try to do something to make people aware about what is happening around them yet how they can better their lives. This year it was about giving something back to nature,” said Nilesh Patil, accountant of the mandal.