Ganesh Chaturthi 2020: Kalash visarjan in the time of COVID

Updated: 03 August, 2020 08:09 IST | Ashish Rane, Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Creator says these pots will ensure that the sanctity of visarjan is maintained, allowing celebration and rituals with social distancing

Tushar Sawant with the kalash at his Malad workshop. Pic/Ashish Rane
Tushar Sawant with the kalash at his Malad workshop. Pic/Ashish Rane

As the city braces to celebrate Ganeshotsav amid the COVID-19 crisis, a city designer has come up with an innovative idea for safe visarjan.

Tushar Sawant from Andheri has created pots (kalash) in various sizes which can be used for Ganesh visarjan during the pandemic, allowing celebration and rituals ensuring social distancing.

This year the state government has issued strict guidelines for the celebration of all festivals which ask people to avoid public gathering considering the current COVID-19 situation.

"In such times, when the government has already put a cap on the number of people allowed for visarjan, the first thought for many is to do the visarjan at home. I also heard many of my friends talking about using a tub or bucket for the same. This made me wonder if it was okay to use a bucket for visarjan that we use for other purposes. So I came up with this concept of a kalash," said Sawant, who has begun creating the kalash at his Malad workshop.

The kalash has a fibreglass body which Sawant guarantees can be used for 2-3 years for multiple viasarjans, depending on its size. It is available in sizes from 22 inches to 40 inches and has a small outlet at the bottom to drain the water. While one Kalash can be used for multiple years, it can also be used for multiple idols for visarjan at a single time.

Sawant explained, "One clay (earthen) idol will take an hour or so to dissolve in water.

The outlet can help drain this and another idol can be put for visarjan in the same kalash. The idea is that one kalash can be used for multiple households in one housing society. This will allow ways to conduct the ritual ensuring social distancing and I hope will also help in changing the mindset about visarjan."

The cost for a kalash varies from R3,500-R10,000, depending on the size.

"The kalash can be used for visarjan of both POP and clay idols. POP may take longer time than clay idols. Hopefully, this eco-friendly visarjan will catch on," he added.

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First Published: 03 August, 2020 08:01 IST

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