Some parents have opted to celebrate this year's Ganeshotsav by buying the eco-friendly idols that their children have made at school. About 200 primary students of Kohinoor International School have made 25 Ganesh idols out of clay and paper over the span of a month as a part of the socially useful and productive work (SUPW) module.
The two-day exhibition cum sale began on Tuesday and nine idols were sold in the first 15 minutes. Each idol is priced at Rs150 to cover the cost of the material used. The paper idols are more than one foot in size and clay idols are 8-10 inches big.
Saniya Shaikh, 9, is in class 5. She spent almost three weeks in creating an idol with her team members. "We thought it was very difficult at first but we slowly understood how to make it. We have made charts to explain how to immerse the clay and paper idols separately in a bucket of water and what to do later. You can pour the clay water into nearby plants. The paper idols will become pulp which you can use as papier mache, handmade paper or decoration," she explained.
Priya Kandhar, 9, said that her grandmother will use the idol made by her instead of buying one.
Every parent who buys the idols gets a brochure explaining immersion procedures. "There is a huge difference in what the school teaches and what we teach at home. Teachers supported the children and we understand how p-o-p idols are hazardous to nature. Others should learn from this," said Ranjeeta Khetle, a parent.
To show children various options of eco-friendly Ganesh idols, teachers have made idols out of coconuts and vegetables like watermelon, bottle gourd and a bitter gourd are used to depict the Lord's vehicle — the mouse. Flat idols on paper have been made from rice, banana leaves, peanuts, CDs and Peepal leaves.
"We keep reiterating eco-friendly ideas throughout the year with our annual plan. For August, we decided on eco-friendly Ganesha idols. It was our very first time; so, we did it on a small scale. We have received phenomenal response and might consider pre-booking from next year," said Dipali Nene, primary section principal.