The mandal has been using eco-friendly idols for the last six years
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The Sakinaka-based Om Shree Siddhivinayak Mitra Mandal has been leading the way in celebrating the Ganpati festival with an eco-conscious approach. For the last six years, the mandal has consistently opted for eco-friendly idols, each year utilising unique materials that not only promote environmental sustainability but also serve a practical purpose. This year, they have crafted an 18-foot-tall eco-friendly Ganpati idol using materials like tissue paper and fish food, which will be immersed in Powai Lake after the festivities.
Siddhesh Khanvilkar, mandal president
On completion of the 25th year of the mandal, members visited various famous immersion spots post visarjan and noticed broken idols after which they decided to go eco-friendly. For the past six years, the mandal has been using eco-friendly conservative idols made of various materials such as alum, pulses and tissue paper, fashioned by Vile Parle-based moortikar Rajesh Mayekar. This year the idol is made using approximately 70 kg of tissue paper and 180-200 kg of fish food, making it one of a kind. The eco-friendly idol costs Rs 1.5 lakh.
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"We had tissue paper-based idols for the initial three years of our eco-friendly endeavour after which we shifted to something which is not only eco-friendly but also useful to the environment. We decided to use various materials, following the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle. Last year, we had used alum to make our idol. As the idol is immersed in Powai Lake, the alum would have definitely helped the purification process of the lake and would dissolve easily. This year we have used fish food for the idol which would feed the fish in the lake post visarjan," said Siddhesh Khanvilkar, president of Om Shree Siddhivinayak Mitra Mandal.
According to mandal vice-president Prathamesh Kadam, they also ensure no fireworks or chemical-based gulal are used during the aagaman (welcome) or visarjan process. "Our vision and motto is to preserve the environment by celebrating festivals in an eco-friendly manner. We had placed an order for the Ganpati idol in February as it takes time to craft this big idol using tissue paper. The decoration used behind the idol will be returned to the moortikar to ensure no waste enters Powai Lake," Kadam said.
Approx weight of fish food used