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October , 2017
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Huge Ganesha idol being transported. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

Year after year, Ganesh Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, also known as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ is celebrated by Hindus around the world. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September). The idols of Lord Ganesha that come in varied shapes and sizes are worshiped during this period. The grandest and most elaborate of them lasts for 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi. On the 11th day, the idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing and singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash, while taking away with him the misfortunes of man. The slogan of `Ganpati Bappa Morya’ reverberates at every nook and corner of the city on that day. “This is the festival that my family and I await for the most. Ganesha is our favorite God and it is celebrated with great pomp and show in our colony. We have a great time on those 10days.” says the joyous Akhil, who stays at Narayanguda. (Picture: Huge Ganesha idol being transported. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony)

In Hyderabad, however, the only available vast water body is the Hussain Sagar Lake, into which these Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris and adorned with the chemical paints (which contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium) are immersed. “The day after the immersion, shoals of dead fish can be seen floating on the surface of the water body as a result of the sudden increase in the level of acidity in the water and the content of heavy metals”, shares Chaitanya Kumar, an environmentalist.

Stall organised by K. Snigdha Ravali, an IYCN volunteer. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

Stall organised by K. Snigdha Ravali, an IYCN volunteer. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

To curb the polluting of water bodies and to save the existing aquatic life, one of the solutions is to use the deities made from clay instead of the Plaster of Paris ones. These can be immersed into water bodies without causing harm to the aquatic life and their environment. Indian Youth Climate Network [IYCN] has taken up the initiative to prepare and distribute these clay idols. The youth group has partnered with the Home Science College at Secretariat in order to propagate this message across the youth of Hyderabad.

The IYCN volunteers helped in painting the clay idols. The paints used were purely organic and bio-degradable and hence, do not cause any harm to the nature. Ms. Vanaja, who is the in charge of this activity opines, “I am really proud of the IYCN volunteers, who have assisted us all this while. If every youngster takes an active part in such environmental activities, the change will be immense. I wish to see only clay deities in each and every household one day”. Hope her dream comes true in the long run!

A stall was set up by the IYCN member, K. Snigdha at Anand Nagar Colony, on Satuday, i.e 22nd August, one day before the festival. She informs, “I went to help them with the painting and bought myself a clay Ganesh idol. Later, the idea of putting up a stall in my colony struck to me. I went ahead with it immediately”. The stall was a huge success as all the idols were reasonably priced from Rs.25 for simple clay idol to Rs.50 for the one adorned with paints. She adds, “The awareness among the people has increased manifold and a lot of them have thanked and encouraged us to conduct further such programs. I would like to thank my friends Swetha, Manogna and Shravani for readily lending me a helping hand. It is commendable on their part to have done so”. “We’re glad that there is such a high demand for these mud and clay Ganesh idols, thanks to various organizations like the IYCN. IYCN has not just made all of us environmentally conscious but has also instilled leadership qualities and confidence, which is a prerequisite for today’s youth to take India on the path of development”, expresses Anagha, a final year Genetics student and a member of the IYCN.

The youth, who take pride in supporting and aiding the climate issues and bring about the change, can be a part of the IYCN through their website; http://www.iycn.in/

Accolades to team IYCN!

Clay Ganeshas painted with organic colours. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

Clay Ganeshas painted with organic colours. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

IYCN Volunteers helping in the painting of idols. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

IYCN Volunteers helping in the painting of idols. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

Rural children also help in the colouring. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

Rural children also help in the colouring. Credit: Enigmatic Euphony

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One Response to “Go Organic with Ideal Idols!”

  1. Candy Floss says:

    Great effort by Snigdha!! A small contribution towards a great change! Way to go and yea.. IYCN rocks!

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