An Eco-Friendly Ganesh Chaturthi

Cotton Candy
Cotton Candy

One of my favorite parts of every Hindu festival is going shopping for flowers and fruits in a bustling market. And one of my favorite Hindu festivals is of course Gowri Ganesha Habba.

Pinwheels
Pinwheels

For the past three years, we pre-ordered our Ganesh visarjan idol from the Eka store. They get these beautifully hand crafted, clay idols from the Pune-based Ecoexist.

Pottery Road
Pottery Road

This year however, we thought we’d change things up a bit and did some research on where we can find similar idols in Bangalore.

Visarjan Ganapati
Visarjan Ganapati

Our search also took us to Pottery Road – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Gowri and Ganesha idols in such varying sizes and designs all at the same time. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet for the eyes.

Gowri Habba
Gowri Habba

Although there are many organizations in Bangalore which are making sure that the festival is celebrated in an environment-friendly way, Shivakumar Hosamani’s volunteer organization Samarpana is quite unique.

Gowri
Gowri

Samarpana has been active in social service for more than 26 years but for the past five years, the organization has also been focussing on popularising clay Ganesha idols that they call Parisara Ganapati.

Samarpana accepts orders and passes them on to artists who create the clay idols. After collecting the plain clay idols from the artists, they are sent to a juvenile home on Magadi Road where 20 boys add natural, non-toxic colours to the idols.

 

Gowri Dolls
Gowri Dolls

The idols come in many sizes but the tallest idol is not more than 19 inches. We were assured that the idol can be immersed in a bucket of water where it will completely dissolve in 45 minutes. Apart from my family, they have made sure that 1799 other families too celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an Eco-friendly way.
Not just this, Mr.Hosamani told us that his team is also gearing up to create sky lanterns/Akash Deepas/Kandeels for Diwali. I saw the samples today and they had a wooden framework, looked very colorful, traditional and way better than the red Chinese lanterns we bought last year. I liked them so much that I got one home with me today.
Well, I’m gonna have to wait till Diwali to light up my beautiful Kandeel but here’s wishing you a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi! May all your dreams come true!