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Dear Friends,

You have heard the word organic many times but usually, it is associated with either farming, vegetables, or pesticide-free products. But organic is not just concerned with products or growing vegetables but it has to be a way of life. We have time and again tried to promote the theme of an organic way of life. What better opportunity than the installation of Lord Ganesha. For me, the form of Ganesha himself is the ideal of harmony of nature and human beings. Ahead of elephant and body of a human. It serves as a constant reminder of the delicate balance that we need to maintain. Lord Ganesha is worshipped first in any auspicious occasion. It may be to remind us that any activity that we do should preserve the balance of nature. If we do so, we may not have any obstacles ( Vighnaharta ). So the least that we can do is to begin by making the entire festival and celebration of Lord Ganesha eco-friendly and organic. Let us start with the symbolic idol which is established in the next few days in a few crore households in India and all Hindus of the world.

Let us resolve to avoid the use of Plaster of Paris and various toxic paints and colours that play havoc when we immerse them in water after the festival. In modern idols, there is also use of various metal ornaments that also pollute the water. There are various ecological alternatives to do the same.
1) The most famous is to do the idol using Shadu clay. This dissolves easily in water. Ecofriendly watercolours can be used to paint it. It can be recycled again next year aif the emersion process is done at home. Due to its very fine particle size there are certain objections to use it in large quantyties as it may block the pores of soil in river beds.

2) We can prepare the idol using waste newspaper mash. This is very light in weight and a beautiful alternative to teach children who can use the art in making some other creatives latter on also.

3) Recently a very creative alternative called Tree Ganesha is also famous. It is a precast idol using red soil ( usually potting soil in terrace gardens) and a seed already in it . so at the end of the festival one can just dissolve the idol and have a potting mix along with the seed that latter germinates into a plant.

4) Another easy alternative is to arrange Bettle leaves in the form of Ganpati idol and stick them on a paper. It can also be used as a wall hanging .

There are many other alternatives that are used by many, creative artists like choclate , disposable glasses , utensils or many house hold items.

Apart from the idol even the decorations have to be ecofriendly. Avoiding thermacol or such items that are difficult to degrade is of utmost priority. Lord Ganesha is the god of art and creativity , so let us begin the worship by putting our creativity to test.

    written by

Vivek Kapadnis

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