The Environmentally Friendly Ganesh
Hyderabad, AP (CHAKRA) – The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has commenced a year long project involving the promotion of an environmentally friendly festival. Ganesha idol immersion has caused the water bodies to be polluted and this is the reason the APPCB has come up with a plan.
The APPCB Member-Secretary, D. Kishore has come together with different working groups to strategize the modalities of the project. He meets with the city people every Saturday to come up with different ideas on how to best implement the project. The main solution that the team has come up with is to replace the hazardous material that goes into idol making with other material that is free of any harm.
In the past few years the focus was on replacing small Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols with clay ones and this was done in some residential areas. However, the focus has now become larger and plans are to promote such clay Ganesh idols (murtis) at a community level so more people are aware and make changes in the material used. Part of the solution involves providing the idol making artisans with raw material that is free of hazardous material. In addition, a space has also been designated to many artisans at which they can continue with making the idols at a large scale. This in turn keeps the clay and other material in fewer places, reducing the levels of pollution.
Many artisans that do not make idols professionally will be taught how to create them while using safe material at no additional cost. They will be taught to be more eco-friendly while keeping in mind their socio-economic condition before asking them to change their methods.
All raw materials that are used for clay idol making such as PoP, colours and paints, will all be tested at the PCB laboratories before permission is given to artisans to use the material in any given geographical area. Whatever that needs to be done with be done to accommodate the artisan while balancing it with promoting a healthier environment with better air to breathe.
Official research is being done to figure out methodologies by which organic paints can be created and made more readily available to the public. The meeting was attended by representatives of non-governmental organizations and PCB officials. Strategies and actions for a plan are to be decided by the end of this month.