10,000 ‘Clay Seed Ganesha’ idol campaign aims for the record books

Innovative Ganesha idols being sold at a shop on R.V. Road ahead of 75th Independence day celebrations in Bengaluru.

Innovative Ganesha idols being sold at a shop on R.V. Road ahead of 75th Independence day celebrations in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.

With its ‘Clay Seed Ganesha’ campaign, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) aims to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records this year by making 10,000 idols of Ganesha. The ‘eco-friendly Ganesha’ campaign is being organised by the KSPCB, in association with Sri Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha (organisers of Bengaluru Ganesh Utsav), on August 28 ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival at National College grounds in Basavanagudi. 

KSPCB organises several programmes annually to prevent the pollution of water bodies by creating awareness about the ill effects of the idols made from Plaster of Paris (PoP) during Ganesh Chaturthi. During the previous year, 10,000 ‘Arishina (turmeric) Ganesha’ idols which were prepared under the campaign earned a spot in the Asian Book of Records, KSPCB officials said in a press conference on Friday.  

This year, seeds of various flowers and medicinal plants will be incorporated in the clay models of Ganesha. School and college students, members of various organisations as well as the general public will take part in the campaign to spread the message about not using idols which are painted with chemical colours. After the festivities, the clay idols can be immersed in pots and then be turned into plants. Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, of the Mysuru royal family who is also the KSPCB’s environment ambassador, has contributed to the campaign with his audio and video messages.  

Shanth A. Thimmaiah, Chairman, KSPCB, said the idols will all be uniform. “We will make sure all of them achieve the same result. We have done it before and we have been very successful. But the numbers are going to be quite big this time,” he said. He further said that those who cannot come to the event can look up the demo video on KSPCB’s website and social media pages and make the idols on their own. 

The representatives from the Guinness World Records organisation will be present during the event on August 28 to count and audit the process at every stage for which separate bar codes will be provided by the KSPCB for every idol. “Every ten volunteers will be guided by a professional artist who will help them in making their idols beautiful,” the officials said. While arranging 20 BMTC buses to bring students from various parts of the city, KSPCB will also be providing a kit consisting of 3.5 kg clay, plant seeds and other materials to the volunteers. 

Over ₹50 lakh collected in SUP fines  

The KSPCB disclosed that since the ban of Single Use Plastic (SUP) in the State, over 1.27 lakh kg of plastic was seized and over ₹36 lakh was collected in fine in July. In the present month, up until now, over 44,000 kg of plastic has been seized with fines over ₹12 lakh. The KSPCB has also conducted several meetings and taken up other measures for effective implementation of the ban. 

It was reiterated during the press conference that if anyone is found selling the banned PoP Ganesha idols, then such sellers will lose their licenses, have their idols seized and would be required to pay fine.  

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Printable version | Aug 26, 2022 11:36:00 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/10000-clay-seed-ganesha-idol-campaign-aims-for-the-record-books/article65762216.ece