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This Mumbai Ganesh mandal says a prayer to the home-made Bappa

Om Shanti Mitra Mandal aims at saving environment and money

mumbai Updated: Sep 12, 2018 08:27 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Ganesh,Ganeshotsav
A resident of Shanti Nagar gives finishing touches to an idol of shadu clay, at Mira Road on Tuesday. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

This year, the Mira Roadcha Gannu will be a four-feet clay idol, handmade by residents of Shanti Nagar, Mira Road.

Until last year, Om Shanti Mitra Mandal, the group that organises the annual Ganeshotsav event in Shanti Nagar, used to buy Ganpati idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP). However, this year, the group decided to make their idol with shadu clay and with their own hands to cause less environmental damage and also to save money.

“When we completed 25 years of celebrations, there were talks that we cannot afford the increasing expenses of the celebration anymore and we should stop getting Ganpatis from the market. However, we didn’t want that to happen because Lokmanya Tilak started this festival to get people together and we didn’t want to cut the cord that bound us,” said Ashwinkumar Patel, member of Om Shanti Mitra Mandal.

“While thinking of a way to sustain the celebrations, we also wanted to switch to eco-friendly options but that wasn’t affordable,” Patel added.

Patel said that a four-feet Ganpati which used to earlier cost them around ₹8,000 now costs them ₹10,000 while a Ganpati made of shadu clay costs ₹35,000. Therefore, some members from the group suggested that they should make their own Ganpati.

“Earlier, we were a little apprehensive if the idol would come out well, but around August, when we got the idol to look like we expected, we were sure that we could take it to pandal. We all love it so much that we don’t want to conduct visarjan (immersion) of the idol. Initially, we had thought that if at all there was any kind of problem with the idol, we would buy one from the market at the last minute,” said Prashob Kodappully, a resident of Dahisar, who gave the finishing touches to the idol.

The decoration for the pandal has also been made eco-friendly, with the group opting to not use the banned thermocol, plastic or PoP. They have created a pond with a waterfall in the background and have plans to immerse the idol in the pond, that is a part of the decoration.

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 01:45 IST