City’s tallest, 22-feet eco-friendly Ganesh Idol at Lalbaugh

Mumbai: Lalbaugh’s Tejukaya Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Trust has gone beyond the regular eco-friendly idol to make a 22-feet papier mache Ganesh Idol.

The 53-year-old trust will also be changing the immersion route to carry the larger idol conveniently. Earlier the idol used to be taken for immersion to Girgaum Chowpatty from Saat Raasta via Mumbai Central and Grant Road. This year it will be taken to the Chowpatty via Mahalaxmi race course and Haji Ali Dargah.

The representatives claimed, the idol made of eco-friendly materials - papier mache and clay, and will be the tallest idol in the city this year. The production cost of the idols have surpassed the earlier budget of Rs 3.5 lakh, as the estimated cost for this year stands at Rs 10 lakh.

“Our primary aim is to protect the environment. Thus we hope, this initiative will raise awareness among the people,” said Sanket Hule, secretary of the trust.

The idea to have an eco-friendly idol was developed in November last year and the construction for the same began in February. A regular idol was made first with plaster of paris for creating moulds.

Following which the idol was dismantled and the moulds were covered with papier mache and clay. The idol is then painted with natural water colours.

The residents of the Tejukaya area in Lalbaugh have come forward to help the sculptors in the idol making process. Around 550 families have donated 150 kilograms of newspapers each for the idol making.

The trust have also decided to tone down the manner of celebrations this year, as the money spent on decorations and lightning will be used for the aid of the flood-hit in Kolhapur and Sangli.

“Our members have done a survey on the flood-affected schools of Kolhapur and Sangli, thus we will be providing school kits to 1000 students in the area,” informed Sushant Shinde, president of the trust.

“We are also urging the devotees and visitors to donate notebooks and pens instead of garlands, so that we can use them for the said purpose,” he added.

The committee will soon set up stalls on the pandal premises for the procurement of the school kits and run a campaign on environment awareness as well.

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