Collegians organise workshop to personalise Ganapati

With environment conservation the aim, students conduct classes to teach people how to make eco-friendly idols

The concept of eco-friendly Ganesh idols is not alien anymore, as people have realised the importance of conserving the environment.

Taking this a step further, a group of college students organised workshops across the city, to train people to make eco friendly idols.

Students wanted people to come together,
share ideas and educate themselves

About three years ago Sahil Bhattad, a second year economics student from Symbiosis College, along with three friends, launched a campaign called Yugpath.
This movement initially focused on carrying out social awareness programmes such as tree plantations, cleanliness drives, but since the past two years they have shifted their focus to spreading the importance
of eco-friendly Ganesh idols.

Bhattad said, "During the visarjan last year, we stationed our selves at the S M Joshi Bridge for almost eight hours and requested devotees to handover the Nirmalya or garlands so that we could bury it in a garden, instead of immersing it the water.
We put in a lot of efforts, but the outcome was low as people thought we were hurting their religious sentiments," the collegiate said.

Bhattad asserted that there are several organisations that promote eco friendly idols and that's when they decided to conduct workshops to teach people. Believing in Lokmanya Tilak's ideals of introducing Ganesh Chaturthi, Bhattad said, "Like Tilak we also wanted people to come together, share ideas and educate themselves, therefore we decided to teach people to make their own idols."

This year Bhattad, Salil Ranade, an Electronics and Telecommunication student along with 15 other volunteers conducted various workshops across the city.

Bhattad informed that this year around 300 people participated in the workshop compared to 100 people last year.

"We are happy and proud with the participation of the workshop. All those who participated, are using the same idol for immersion. We need not worry about these idols as they  are completely eco friendly.
The idols are made from saru mati (mud available at the banks of the river)," he added.

Bhattad who hopes to reach out to a large number of people next year, said, "We were surprised with the level of awareness people had. We hope to spread this message to a larger number of people next year."

Workshops  were conducted across various parts in the city in the month of August.

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