This Man Makes Paper Ganesh for Ganesh Chathurthi, to Reduce Pollution #WATWB

Sometimes, we go too far to please the Gods least realising what we are doing may one day unleash their wrath. This will not only affect us but also the world that we live in!!!Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Each year, Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated with much gusto and zeal. The festival is celebrated all over the country but in Maharashtra, the celebrations are very grand and to the next level. People start preparations well in advance and make sure that Bappa is welcomed in the best possible way. When Bappa is welcomed in a home, the celebrations take place for the next ten days. After this, the idol is immersed in water. People believe that for the ten days that God was with them, he blesses them and when he is immersed then he takes away all their sorrows.

What I fail to understand is that once the festival is over and the idols are immersed, no one – literally no one cares about God. He can be seen half-broken, lying here and there and at this time no one worships him. Moreover, these idols are made with Plaster of Paris and cement, coloured with harmful chemical-laden paints, decorated with flowers and other beads and garlands. Just imagine the amount of muck these create when immersed.

Did you know these facts:

Fact 1: Ganesh Idols are capable of floating in water for over 100 years. The calcium sulfate hemihydrate from PoP not only take several years to dissolve but is also toxic for marine life.

Fact 2: The more beautiful the idol, the more toxic it is. Usually, toxic paints are used to decorate idols, and these lead to increased levels of acid in the water.

Fact 3: These idols are immersed with other pollution causing products. The idols are decorated with jewels, gems, stones, flowers and garlands. So the idol is never immersed alone but with so many other pollution causing things.

One day, after the festival, 38-year-old Rohit Vaste an artist from Mumbai was strolling on the beach. He was saddened to see disrespect for God in the form of broken idols floating in the water, which were in turn leading to pollution. It was then that he came up with an idea of making Ganesha idols with paper. He had heard that if the paper is mixed with an organic binder then it becomes hard. This is when he started working towards making non-polluting idols.

The whole process from the beginning to the end is environment-friendly. The paper is procured from the scrap dealers and then recycled. It is further torn into several small pieces and then mixed with clay to form a dough. When the dough is workable then it is moulded and shaped into sculptures. Once the primary frame is ready a layer of recycled paper is wrapped over the sculpture with an organic glue so that the materials bind. Then finally the idol is finished and painted with non-toxic paints.

Rohit Vaste has indeed been successful in creating idols which are lightweight, non-toxic, non polluting and easy to handle. These idols are so light that even children and ladies can carry them easily. Also, these paper idols come in different sizes and shapes ranging between 1-3 feet priced at Rs 2,100 to 20,000. If you are interested to buy one this year, you can buy from here – Paper Ganesh.

Though Rohit has come up with a solution for a big problem he still urges the people not to immerse these in the sea as the paper may stay behind and the fish may consume it.

This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly blogging event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month, the co-hosts are Shilpa GargSimon Falk Damyanti BiswasLizbeth Hartz and Eric LahtiPlease hop over to check out the amazing WATWB posts for a dose of feel-good to last you a whole month. You’ll be happy you did!

 

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Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 6-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

18 Comments

  1. July 26, 2019
    Reply

    Such an awesome idea…. we need more of such people on earth shubhra… great post

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      July 26, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Kushal!

  2. July 26, 2019
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing this, as Ganesh Chaturthi is approaching, we need more awareness on protecting our Earth along with celebrating too.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      July 26, 2019
      Reply

      Agree Pragun

  3. July 27, 2019
    Reply

    Wonderful idea and highly creative and necessary!

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      July 27, 2019
      Reply

      Agree!!

  4. July 28, 2019
    Reply

    I love this story and celebrate Rohit Vaste’s innovative approach to a serious problem. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      July 29, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you, Deborah!

  5. July 29, 2019
    Reply

    I hope more people buy Ganesh idols from this guy, and that idols all over India are made from this process.

    Kudos to Rohit Vaste!

    Thankyou for sharing this excellent and very relevant story.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      July 29, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Damyanti! I also wish that people are aware of how in the name of spirituality they are harming their environment.

  6. July 29, 2019
    Reply

    Very glad to know that he is providing an alternative to the polluting idols. I hope people opt for his environment friendly option.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      July 29, 2019
      Reply

      I hope too! Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. July 30, 2019
    Reply

    Shubhra, thank you for this great #WATWB post! What a thoughtful and caring young man Rohit is – caring for the environment while having respect for Ganesh.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      July 31, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Susan!

  8. July 31, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Shubhra – what an innovative thoughtful person Rohit Vaste is … it is awful how we make things and then they’re immediately forgotten and as Rohit has noticed immediately are polluting. Excellent idea to make lightweight paper ones, and then to note that we must make sure the paper doesn’t litter. As Susan says he too has respect for Ganesh … thank you – cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/2019/07/we-are-world-blogfest-27-three-littlie.html

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      August 5, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Hilary!

  9. September 10, 2019
    Reply

    So nice to hear about these paper Ganeshas…I hope the world around adopts it quickly too…

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      September 10, 2019
      Reply

      Yes if everyone adopts this then we shall all contribute towards a green world!

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