India is a country with mixed cultures and each culture having their own traditions that follow through various generations. One such tradition is the festival of Ganesh Chathurthi and it’s part of giving the idols of Lord Ganesh to the sea, which is locally called a Ganesh Visarjan. Ganesh Visarjan is a huge celebration in the various parts of states of Maharastra, Karnataka etc. The idols of Ganesh made of plaster of Paris are being used for the past 2-3 decades. The idols which are technically dumped into the sea are creating several environmental issues to the sea along with the organisms living in the coastal areas. Thus an idea of making DIY eco-friendly Ganesh idols came to light.

How is it made?

By replacing the plaster of Paris, which widely used in the making of Ganesh idols is not easily degradable once set, clay can be reintroduced. The clay in all sense is eco-friendly and will not harm the marine eco system in any manner.

The materials required are as follows:-

  1. Self Hardening Clay- 1 kg
  2. Plastilina – 750 ml
  3. Study cast; in case if you are a beginner.
  4. Acrylic colors; as desired (golden color is a must though)
  5. Cowrie Shells – 2 No.s

eco-frienly-ganesh

Modelling

  • Mix the Clay with water in the required proportion and manipulate the material into the desired shape.
  • Insert two cowrie shells on the either sides of the head; these two appears to be the eyes of the idol.
  • If you are a beginner, use the study cast of Lord Ganesh available in art shops. But for large scale visarjan programs, casts are not available and one has to be very proficient with clay modeling to make idols in huge sizes.
  • After modeling, let the clay dry for few hours. Then apply plastilina oil so as to give a shiny appearance to the idol.
  • After drying the oil apply suitable acrylic colors on the idol.

The idol is ready.

Hence, one can help reduce the drastic scenes that could happen in the seashores after the Ganesh Chaturthi days.

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Courtesy: Aesha Bhavsar

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