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Punekars share how one can celebrate the festivities of Ganeshotsav in a clean, green and interesting way

Here’s how you can do it

pune Updated: Sep 09, 2018 16:29 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Ecofriendly Ganesh idols in Shukrawar peth on Saturday.(HT PHOTO)

Ganeshotsav heralds a new beginning and brings about a festive cheer. With the festival fast approaching, Punekars are gearing up to welcome the Lord of wisdom with pomp and grandeur. Many of which are being extra careful of the material and type of idol and decoration they will be picking up.

We speak to a few families in the city who have been consciously choosing ecofriendly materials for decorations and clay or mud idols for festivities.

Sampada Jain and her husband with their ecofriendly Ganesh. ( HT )

Sagar Ramachandra Talekar, a software engineer, has been extremely particular of the idol and decoration he picks up during Ganeshotsav for the past four years. The young Punekar made this switch after realising the after-effects of our celebrations on the rivers and the environment.

Talekar says, “There was a time when we did not put much thought into the material of the decoration or the type of idol we brought home. We used to have thermocol and plastic decorations. However, we saw how nature is being troubled and how we are harming our environment. That is when we as a family took a collective decision.”

The Talekars first began with replacing non-biodegradable decorations and eventually switched to clay idols. “We now only include fresh flowers or paper buntings in our festive decor. We also make most of it at home to be assured of no foul play. Our family business includes a fabrication workshop, so we have made a permanent stand and revolve our themes around that,” adds Talekar.

Sagar Talekar with his ecofriendly Ganesh idol. ( HT PHOTO )

This year, Talekar is planning a water and flower theme for Ganesha. “I usually use a lot of fresh flowers, sarees and dupattas for the festive decor. They are not only eco-friendly, but also serve as an excellent backdrop. Also, you can keep experimenting with it. I am also planning to sculpt my own idol this year,” he adds.

For the past two years, Sampada Jain has been sculpting her own Ganesh idol using the eco-friendly clay and also uses handmade products for the decoration. Last year it was a colourful theme with all handmade flowers. Jain says, “This year, I am planning for a Himalayan theme. I will make snow-capped mountains around the idol and a big handmade lotus flower will be the base for it. Looking at all the environmental conditions these days where all the harsh chemicals used in the POP idols are destroying our nature, we decided that it is better to switch to an eco-friendly celebration.”

Maithili Manakawad has been celebrating Ganeshotsav in an ecofriendly way for the past six years. ( HT PHOTO )

Maithili Manakawad of the Wanowrie Residents’ Forum shares that her society Windsor Avenue has been following the eco-friendly way for the past six years. “We come together and promote a clay idol and completely eco-friendly festive decor. I have been advocating the ban of plaster of Paris idols for a very long time and hope that people soon will take it up seriously too,” Manakawad says.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 16:25 IST