E Week Yatra Stories

Ganesha in Screws

Thakur Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

Feb 6. 11 am.


I was greeted at TIMSR with the earsplitting cries of Ganpati Bappa Morya. Huh? Isn’t the Ganpati festival in September? Before I could ask the question aloud, I was escorted into a packed room where even a bigger surprise awaited me. A Ganesha idol held together with screws and bolts!


The students at TIMSR are inaugurating E Week with a difference – instead of the usual song and candle lighting routine in obeisance of the Lord, they’re having a Ganesha-making workshop to promote eco-friendly idols.


An interesting concept where a fibre mould of Ganesha is made and filled with paper mache, which is beaten to a pulp. Newspaper is stuck on the outside, and the entire mould is fixed with bolts and screws.


After three days of drying, the mould is removed. And lo and behold! – it reveals an idol as beautiful as any other traditional Ganesha idol.  Except this one is far more environment friendly, recycles waste paper, dissolves in water and doesn’t kill marine life.


Eco-friendly Ganeshas emerged from an experiment conducted by the volunteers of Sri Aniruddha Upasana Trust in 2004. Every year, these volunteers collect POP (Plaster of Paris) debris that is washed ashore after the Ganesha immersions, and throw them back into the sea. It takes them weeks to clean the seashore. “We were depressed to see the pollution and wanted to do something about it,” says Sudhir Acharekar, a volunteer who ran the workshop. In 2004, we sold 125 idols; in 2009, we made 4,800. In 2010, we plan to produce 8,000 idols,” he reveals.


Students looked visibly excited. “It’s so easy! We can make these idols ourselves. We also plan to teach the junior office staff, like peons and cleaners on our campus, so that they can earn too,” says Ashutosh Pandey, E Leader at TIMSR.


Such thoughts make entrepreneurship like God’s work, isn’t it?






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