by Priya Prakash
Purandar (Pune district): Kiran Jagtap from Rajewadi village of Purandar would have been just another Ganesha idol maker but his unique initiative sets him apart. He makes the idols from cow dung and when these idols are put in a tub filled with water at the time of immersion, it dissolves in water and this mixture can be used for planting saplings.
Kiran uses cow dung powder and soil to make idols, tamarind powder to give shape and structure to the idols, and coconut oil for final finishing.
Kiran said, ” Each idol is 22.86 cm long and weighs about 700 grams, and it takes two hours to shape and sculpt an idol, in which my colleague Yogesh Magar and Rishikesh help me and at last Harshada paints them.”
Kiran added, “This is our first attempt, so our goal this year is to only produce 100 idols, of which 10 have already been produced. These eco-friendly idols are provided with the service of home delivery by post/courier and are priced at only Rs.500 to Rs.600. ”
Keeping corona in mind, Kiran and his group have taken all the orders through mobile and all security precautions will also be taken in their delivery.
Kiran (25) has a postgraduate degree in political science and has been trained to make cow dung products from Swanand Govigyan Nagpur. He took this initiative in order to improve the environment and has planned to use seeds in some idols so that the plants can germinate after the idols are soaked in water.
When asked about his inspiration Kiran said he loved the environment from the beginning and wanted to make people aware of using indigenous, natural products to reduce environmental pollution.
In western India, preparations started a month ago. Pune is one of the cities famous for its huge Lord Ganesh idol and Ganesh Chaturthi’s grand celebrations around the world. However, after the idols made from plaster of Paris (white chalk, also used as cement) got banned because they are non-biodegradable, people have started using natural sculptures made from clay or cow dung.
About the Author:
Priya Prakash is a student at Vishwakarma University, Pune