Eco-friendly Ganapatis: Civic chief leads by example

Sep 12, 2012, 07:59 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak believes in practising what he preaches. For the past three years, the environmentally conscious Pathak has been installing an eco-friendly Ganesh idol made of shadu clay at home during Ganeshotsav.

His wife Swati sculpts the 10-inch-tall idol, which is decorated using natural colours. She is even ready to pass on the art to those who want to sculpt eco-friendly idols at home. 

A former official of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Pathak wants to spread the message of celebrating Ganeshotsav without harming the environment.

Role model: Swati, wife of Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak (below), paints the eco-friendly idol with natural colours. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

“I immerse the idol installed at my residence in the PMC tank in Aundh. I am happy the idol we sculpt doesn’t look like the ones made by professionals with plaster of Paris,” he said. Apart form sculpting eco-friendly idols at home, Swati is an active member of Sanskar India Foundation.

Swati has taught several people how to sculpt idols using natural materials and has given demonstrations at the PMC’s Environmental Centre Indradhanush in Navi Peth.  This year Swati decorated the idol using natural colours she made mixing geru, kumkum, ashtagandha, bukka bhasma, lime and gum. 

“Gum gives a nice shine to the deity. Expenditure does not exceed more than Rs 100, including the cost of shadu clay. Most importantly, it gives me the satisfaction of sculpting Ganpati. I can teach anybody to make idols without charging a single paisa,” Swati said.

Founder-president of Andhashradda Nirmulan Samiti Dr Narendra Dabholkar complimented the Pathaks for their initiative. “This is remarkable and others should follow the Pathaks’ example. I urge Pathak to enforce large-scale installation of eco-friendly Ganapatis and eco-friendly immersions,” Dabholkar said. 

Those interested in leaning the art of sculpting eco-friendly idols can get in touch with Swati Pathak on (020) 25676768 

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