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Gau Ganesh: idols made of cow manure make their debut

Several centuries ago, in a more eco-friendly era, Ganapati idols made out of cow dung were quite common. Now, a city-based non-profit is reviving that custom and the craft.

The Surbhi Kutir Udyog Foundation works for the welfare of cows across the country. After a small pilot project last year, for this year’s Ganesh festival, they introduced idols made by artisans in a village in Rajasthan. The idols, called Gomaya Ganesh or Gau Ganesh, are in three sizes: three inches high, at Rs. 150, six inches at Rs. 700 and 18 inches at Rs. 4,500. The smallest size sold the most, largely to families buying idols for their homes.

The easily soluble idols are made from the dung of calves younger than two months, because that works best for the desired shape, strength and longevity.

The students of KPB Hinduja College helped promote the campaign this year, through a social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp, as well as with placards, urging citizens to go for idols made of cow manure. They sold most of the 1100 idols. “Our message was these Ganesha idols would prevent water pollution, in addition to providing other environment benefits such as creating manure for plants after their immersion. We are happy with the response we got,” said Yash Ram Ashar, a second year Bachelor in Transport Management (BTM) student of the Hinduja College.

Fifty percent of the money from the sales has been given to the college CSR fund to help needy and meritorious students, with the rest of the profits sent back to the artisans to encourage them to adopt and take care of non-milking cows.

Dr. Minu Madlani, principal, KPB Hinduja College said, “We are proud of our students who took such a unique step to protect the environment.”

“We are happy with the response,” said Rishi Jai Prakash, Managing Director, Surbhi Kutir . “The enthusiasm from children is mind boggling. We will do it in a bigger way next year.”


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 5:15:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/Gau-Ganesh-idols-made-of-cow-manure-make-their-debut/article14640205.ece

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