Youth associations are gearing up to install idols on various themes

The fascination for ‘green Ganesha’ is catching up the imagination of the youth in the city, with idol-makers getting bookings much ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Visitors to the workshop of Sukumar Pal of Kolkata in busy Dwarkanagar find 15 to 20 artisans working round the clock to meet the deadline to deliver the idols on time. In fact, he has been receiving bookings since June and those who are late are being greeted with “no more bookings please” placard.

“We have been into this business in the City of Destiny for the past few years, as there is much demand for the eco-friendly elephant god made with clay, dry grass, water colours, and holy water brought from the Ganga,” one of the artisans has said.

Some materials such as clay, costume, and crown are brought from Kolkata.

With the demand for the green Ganesha growing, more artisans from Kolkata are descending on the city every year to cash in on the growing popularity.

Pioneering effort

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) was the first to conduct an awareness programme for schoolchildren on making of clay idols to discourage use of plaster of Paris and chemicals.

“I am very happy that the demand for green Ganesha is gaining momentum. Using terracotta is always a better option. In fact, the initiative to observe noiseless Deepavali is also evoking a good response,” Rani Sarma, a social activist told The Hindu on Tuesday.

The realisation to reduce pollution is growing among the youth. “We have been buying Ganesha moulded with clay for the past five years as we don’t like dumping idols made of chemicals and plaster of Paris into the sea,” points out Suresh of Crazy Boys. The organisation is putting up an 8-ft idol on the concept of Krishnashtami near Jagadamba junction. P. Hariprasad of the Yuva Sena Foundation is so enthusiastic that everyday he visits the workshop at Dwarkanagar to see the progress in making of the idol. The organisation is putting up a ‘train Ganesha’ this year to propagate the need to avoid train accidents and deaths while crossing the tracks.

The Poorna Market Friends’ Association is installing an idol on the concept of ‘Suryabhagawan’ to focus on the importance of ventilation.

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