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Pune children attempt Guinness World Record with 3,082 eco-Ganesh idols

Pune sends a strong message for an ecofriendly Ganeshotsav at an event organised by the Pune Municipal Corporation on the 125th anniversary of the festival.

pune Updated: Aug 25, 2017 17:05 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
ecofriendly,Ganeshotsav,Pune Municipal Corporation
Brainchild of mayor Mukta Tilak, the idea was to promote an environment- friendly Ganesh Festival.(Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)

Attempting to create history, 3,082 children from 160 schools went home happy, each carrying their own ecofriendly clay idol of Lord Ganesha that they created from scratch.

These students were hand picked by their respective schools to be part of the biggest workshop held in Pune; to make 3,000 Ganesh idols using river clay. They ended up making precisely 82 idols more.

Amid the shouts of Ganpati Bappa Morya, the children began slowly kneading the clay, learning and following master sculptor Vivek Khatavkar, as he slowly took the children through the process of giving life to a clay mould.

Brainchild of mayor Mukta Tilak, the idea was to promote an environment- friendly Ganesh Festival. “We thought of training 3,000 students in making clay idols, where sculptor Vivek Khatavkar would help them with a live demonstration. It is indeed very nice to see the student’s enthusiasm and eagerness to learn something new,” she said.

“This is the world’s biggest workshop and these children inspire others to be aware about the environment,” said Prakash Javadekar, minister for human resource development. “Ganeshotsav was started to create awareness among the people. It is said that every new beginning always takes place in Pune, I am happy to see so many eager students here today with so much energy. The idea of seeds within these clay Ganesha idols means that during immersion, these seeds will sprout new plants where ever they flow, thus, giving us new plants and help us create green cover. By holding such events is how you create awareness among students, there is new hope and these young students are the new generation who will bring about a change in the people’s thinking,” he added.

Municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar was present throughout the event that stretched for nearly two hours. “This is a process of change, a process of making the entire society at large aware of environmental protection. It is a long process but this is a miniature milestone. Children of all ages coming together; showing the path, that once we decide we can do wonderful stuff, be creative, use your talent, the message is strong and it is reaching everyone,” he said.

An enthusiastic Kumar said that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) stands committed to see that the festival dedicated to Lord Ganesha is celebrated in an ecofriendly way. “But we are moving in the right direction with every Punekar joining us. We are hoping that our event will make it to the Guinness world records,” he said.

The students were thrilled at the end of the workshop. Harish Deetharla, a student from Mount Mary School, was very excited and couldn’t stop showing his little Lord Ganesha. Pranjal Surve, a student from PVG Muktangan English school, “I made an idol which has seeds with which I will plant trees. It was a very nice event.”

A student of Agrasen High School, Athrava Sanas, was with all his school friends and said, “I enjoyed being here and made a shadu clay Ganesha, which is not harmful to earth. One should only use clay idols and I plan to take this idol home.”

The Guinness World Record team at work

Milind Verlekar, Guinness consultant, was present throughout the event working on making it a huge success.

“We had 3,082 students participating in this official attempt of Guinness World Record and 61 instructors for this entire workshop kept watch over the workshop. The Chief Instructor, Vivek Khatavkar, was on the stage teaching and instructing on how to make a sculpture of Lord Ganesha and his demonstrations were displayed on digital LED displays spread over all the ground,” Verlekar said.

3,100 students from 160 schools in the Pune Municipal Corporation limits had registered for this lesson with their complete details. All the registered students were supplied with wristbands having pre-printed barcodes affixed to it. The participating students were supplied with the exact details of the gate through which they were supposed to enter. There were three (3) entry gates and each student’s barcode was scanned at each gate. After the scan, the number at the entry gate increased on the display attached to the gate. The summation of all the entry gates was continuously displayed on the central LED display.

Every gate was monitored by two independent witnesses who later submitted their reports about the headcount they had on these gates.

Fifty students were grouped and were monitored by stewards appointed specially for this purpose. Each steward was supposed to take count of the 50 students in his/her marked area. The steward was also supposed to monitor that each of the student marked to him/her were participating in this lesson fully. There were 60 areas marked separately with white ribbons consisting of 50 students each and thus, there were 60 stewards in the entire activity. The stewards counted the head count before the lesson , after the lesson and he/she also counted to perfection about how many students participated completely and finished the final sculpture.

Along with the stewards, all the 60 designated areas were attended by additional instructors who are experienced arts teachers from Pune city. These teachers were working as instructors to guide the participating students on how to sculpt the Ganesha idol.

All the participating students were taught simultaneously by all the instructors. The students followed the instructions and sculpted beautiful Lord Ganesha idols with the help of Shadu clay, which is completely ecofriendly.

The entire workshop lasted for a duration of 1 hour and 31 minutes, where each of the participant was making his/her own sculpture, with the help of the instructors. Two timekeepers were also present at the venue who marked the start of the lesson and also ended the lesson.

This official attempt took place at the single venue of Baburao Sanas Ground, near Sarasbaug.

Two witnesses attended the lesson and monitored the entire event from the perspective of a third person and later also gave their detailed review of the lesson.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 23:29 IST