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Saying it with Ganesha

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Conveying the message: Vijayram, an artist, gifts eco-friendly Ganesha idols free of cost for a noble cause.
Conveying the message: Vijayram, an artist, gifts eco-friendly Ganesha idols free of cost for a noble cause.

Ranee Kumar

The taker only needs to sign up for replenishing groundwater

Hyderabad: When the clarion call to make eco-friendly ‘Ganesha’ is still doing the rounds in official circles, like it does year after year with little or no effect, here is a single individual who has consistently been making the ‘ideal’ idol-moulding a reality. And what more, presenting the Ganesha free of cost!

Be it a one-foot high idol or a five-inch one, Vijayram takes pains to mobilise men and mud to cast 10,000 clay idols of ‘Ganesha’ sans emulsion or substances hazardous to environment. The only “price” one has to pay for taking the idol home is to attest one’s signature on a bill-book of sorts.

It contains a small printed pledge stating the taker (of Ganesha) will solemnly do his bit in spreading awareness on the need to replenish the depleting groundwater table of this city and pass it on as a legacy to his progeny.

A symbolic representation of the water pledge is displayed at the threshold of the shop in two goblets containing crystal clear water and polluted water of Hussainsagar, respectively.

Committed to the cause

The inconspicuous sweet shop ‘Emerald’, which houses these eco-friendly Ganesha idols is tucked away in the shade of two huge trees on the Indira Park road right opposite Ramakrishna Math. Mr. Vijayram is a confectioner by default. A committed environmentalist, he is a painter by choice.

Even the sweets in his shop are packaged in echo-friendly paper bags! “I believe in practising what I preach.

Already I have pumped in my own money and got 40 water harvesting pits in houses in and around this area, including mine to augment the groundwater table in summer,” says this young man with conviction.

It is his innate belief that the smallest of effort is the beginning of a dedicated movement.


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