Every year, weeks and even months before Ganesh Chaturthi, artisans across the country start working on lakhs of idols that are disposed of in lakes and rivers after the festival. The size of these statues varies from a few inches to 70 feet. All these statues are installed at home and public places, especially in the state of Maharashtra, which is known to celebrate the festival enthusiastically, and publicly.
The festivities are enjoyed by all but one aspect of these celebrations has become a concern for our environment. Nearly all the statues are made from PoP, plastic, and other insoluble materials that are harmful to the environment. Environmentalists have been urging the masses to search for greener ways of expressing themselves culturally as well as religiously. Thankfully, somebody is listening.
Mudpiez is one website that provides statues made of natural clay. Bengaluru-based IT consultant Shashi Shah and his teammate Subru started Mudpiez in an attempt to help buyers reach makers of eco-friendly idols. After scouting villages near Bengaluru for skilled artisans dealing in natural clay statues, the duo launched Mudpiez, which now provides nine different varieties of idols with the tallest being 17 inches in size.
The effort is highly commendable as water bodies across the country get clogged with harmful waste every year. Lakhs of non-biodegradable idols submerged during Ganesh Chaturthi add to the problem. With idols of natural clay available online, buyers can place an order and do their bit for the environment.
In addition to this, Shah and Subru also pitched an idea for ‘safer’ means of disposal. The two innovators plan to arrange for an artificial lake where people can carry out the ‘visarjan’ of idols. Not only this, these guys from Mudpiez also provide a service wherein they collect idols from houses and dispose of them in the artificial tank.
If all this was not enough, the two environmentalist cum entrepreneurs have also decided to fund the medical expenses of an elephant currently in Bengaluru. A portion of their earnings goes to the health care of an elephant which met with an unfortunate accident while carrying out logging activities.
The idea of an eco-friendly festival is just what this country needs. With so many religions, cultures, and beliefs bubbling and churning across the country, an eco-friendly mechanism to celebrate festivals will work for the greater good. Mudpiez now aims to bring more festivals in their ‘portfolio’ and are willing to transform India’s festivals into an eco-friendly affair.
(Featured Image Credit: scoopwhoop.com)