Why our गौड सारस्वत समाज, अहमदाबाद has a clay मूर्ती during गणेश चतुर्थी?
Though ecologists strongly argue in favor of clay गणेश मूर्ती, the demand for Plaster of Paris Ganeshas in Ahmedabad is increasing.
With disinterested lawmakers, sadly NGOs and environmentalists seem to have subdued their voices on this issue.
Is it really impossible to do away with Plaster of Paris idols?
Year after year, during the गणेश चतुर्थी celebrations, the भक्त गण clog our rivers, ponds, oceans and the wells across the country by dumping plaster of Paris idols while they overwhelm विघ्नहरता with their prayers.
A quick tour of Gulbai Tekra ln Ahmedabad, where Plaster of Paris idols are sold, will tell you the reasons for its popularity. They are not only cheaper to produce, the भक्त गण too prefer them because of their intricate design and details. They are not as delicate as the clay ones and are lighter on the pocket as well as to carry.
Plaster of Paris is non-biodegradable, and does not dissolve in water. Besides this, the chemical paints used to adorn these plaster idols contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium, causing water pollution.
A research paper published in 2017 authored by Shukla NP et al (1) reveals that there are significant changes in certain physicochemical properties of water. There is decrease in the dissolved oxygen, and free CO2. There is an increase in the total alkalinity, total hardness, total calcium, oil and grease, temperature and pH during the immersion period.
I was in Goa last week. I am told that the sale of Ganesh idols made from Plaster of Paris is banned by the State Government. People are urged to buy traditional clay idols made by artisans.
A very good step!
गौड सारस्वत समाज, अहमदाबाद took the courageous decision a few years back to install only clay idols.
Here Shri Gopalkrishna Puranik, our ever smiling, energetic, and versatile Bhatmam has a stellar role to play.
Eco-friendly clay विग्रह are not available easily in Ahmedabad. Gopalkrishna Puranik Bhatmam arranges eco-friendly clay required for the विग्रह. The idol maker from कोडियाल (दक्षिण कन्नड) is invited to carve out this beautiful विग्रह.
Using eco-friendly colors the विग्रह is brought to life by Dr. Srinivas Mallya, Kanthi Prabhu and our local artisans.
The progressive outlook of गौड सारस्वत समाज, अहमदाबाद is truly commendable.
We deserve a pat on our back.
- Shukla, Narmada & S Bundela, P & K Khare, S & Sarsaiya, Surendra. (2014). Study of the Impact of Plaster Of Paris (Pop) and Clay Idols Immersion in Water. International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Technology. 3. 861-864.
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