By the middle of the Hindu calendar, Vikram Samvat, the weather starts to change. The blazing heat of the sun is cooled down by cool showers of Saavan-holy month of lord Shiva that marks the start of the monsoons. Although, the sustainer of the universe i.e. Lord Vishnu is asleep, there are many festivities that Hindus celebrate with utmost joy and enthusiasm such as Ganesha Chaturthi. Bring Ganesha paintings and mark the birth of Bappa.
The festivities to celebrate the birth of the cute elephant god starts from Ganesha Chaturthi and ends on Anant Chaturdashi. On this day, devotees immerse Ganesha idols in seas and rivers after ten days of worship. This is also known as Ganesha Visarjan.
An idol and Ganesha paintings of the elephant god are brought home that is usually bright, colorful and beautiful. These idols are made of cheap Plaster of Paris and dyed with harmful synthetic Points. They are non-biodegradable and contain other harmful substances like Gypsum, Lead, and Mercury.
These idols are mass made and when they are immersed in water, chemicals present in these idols react with oxygen present in water to form toxic substances. Thus, it makes water bodies harmful to humans, animals, and other water-dwelling beings.
Here are some ways through which you may make this Ganesh Chaturthi environment-friendly and try to keep the earth clean and green. This a legacy we should give to our coming generations.
- Ganesh idol made form Clay
You may go to a potter’s house and purchase clay used for making earthen pots, lamps, piggy banks, etc. This is easily available. Immersing it in any water body will not affect the water body and the creatures living in it. Turmeric could be mixed in the clay or applied, later on, to brighten up the idol. Here are some steps:-
- Clay is mixed in water to make a dough which can be shaped easily.
- Different parts of the idols are made separately. Firstly, make three balls big enough to make the base, head, and body. Five long pieces are to be rolled for making limbs and a tusk. Three small balls may be used to make ears and crown.
- One of the big balls is to be taken and flattened with a rolling pin or belan for making it fit for a base. Place another ball in the middle part to make the bust and round tummy of the idol.
- Gently, attach the extended limbs to the body to make the legs and arms of the idol. Use a pointed thing such as a toothpick or a needle to draw dhoti, jewellery, fingers, toes, and other things.
- Another ball of clay should be used to make the head for the idol and a small elongated one is to be placed cautiously for making the trunk on the face. The trunk should be cylindrical that is broad from where it is to be attached and a little narrow from where it is going to end. Make sure ti remains attached to the head by inserting a toothpick. Shape the head to look like an elephant’s head.
- Ears are to be made out with the rest of the balls. Toothpick marking is to be used to make it look real.
- Make a crown to place on idol’s head of the remaining dough and a small rat to accompany Lord Ganesha. Make almond-shaped eyes. Thin and elongated clay could be shaped in the form of jewellery for Ganesha’s hands, feet, and neck.
- Make Ganesha with leaf-like clay
- Take a ball of clay and mould it to give it a shape of a leaf. Mark lines and patterns to give it a real look with a pointed thing like a toothpick or a needle.
- Shape a semi-circle out of clay and attach it with the leaf made of clay. Ganesh is to be made on the leaf. Idol made should have a flat surface from behind.
- You may shape the clay made for a body in the silhouette of the idol and then mark and carve the necessary things on the idol like a drawing. The trunk may be attached separately to make it look more beautiful.
- Take a clay ball and make it flat with a rolling pin. Take a circular cap and cut ears form a flattened circle. Shape it like an elephant’s ears and place it on the idol.
- You will have to ensure that all the attachments made in the idols should also be attached to the leaf-like base like a leaf.
- This idol is made fairly small and looks cute. Make sure that it is not too heavy.
This is ironic that we are worshipping the God of wisdom by being ignorant. As citizens and as devotees, we are responsible for saving this earth from our irresponsible behaviour such as making nature pay for our deeds. God belongs to all whether living or nonliving, animate or inanimate, intelligent or diligent, humans or animals. Make sure you enjoy the fruits of Mother Nature with each other.