by AKANKSHA GROVER, Mass Communication-I
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has directed the artisans not to use materials which are detrimental to the environment in the making of Ganesha Idols. The paint used to create colorful Ganeshas is high in lead, Chromium and Mercury.
“When idols are immersed in water, they release a host of chemicals and materials like the Plaster of Plaris (POP) which are insoluble and pollute the water bodies in the city,” said Dr Vaman Acharya, Chairman of KSPCB.
“We have sent our officials this year to different areas like JP Nagar, Pottery Road and Cotton Pet asking artisans to avoid using hazardous materials in making Ganesha,” he added. Talking about how the water bodies can be preserved this year, Mr Acharya said “We should increase the awareness among citizens about this issue, and encourage them to be eco-friendly this year by purchasing only clay Ganeshas.”
Kishan, an idol maker in Pottery Road, said, “Customers are always attracted to the colorful idols; they choose them over the plain clay idols. The demand for clay idols is always less. Once even a small tinge of colour is added to the plain idols, the customers are ready to buy them.”
On the other hand the customers gave mixed responses for choosing coloured or plain idols this year. “Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated once in a year to mark the birth of Lord Ganesha. Hence, to mark a grand celebration, idols with bright colours and decorations are preferred,” said Kavitha Kumar, resident of Benson Town.
Revathi. P, a resident of Jayanagar said “Every year we place an idol in our society, and we ensure it is clay-made without chemicals. We use flowers, plants or clay-made decorations only. It is important for people to understand how harmful the colors and chemicals are for the water bodies, and stop purchasing the color-made idols. Once the festival is over it is disheartening to see Ganesh Idols strewn disrespectfully in water bodies. ”