Re: Celebrating an Eco-friendly Ganpati Festival 2013
Say No To Plaster of Paris Ganesh Idols
The environmental hazards caused by Plaster of Paris (POP) Ganesh idols need immediate attention. Hence the awareness for effectsof POP idols is of utmost importance.
Quick Facts of Plaster of Paris Ganesh Idols:
- POP is a building material made from Gypsum which is heated upto 150 deg C. It is used for making casts for broken bones.
- It is an insoluble powder and forms an impermeable layer on the bottom of pond or lake.
- The research has found that the oxygen level falls drastically after the Ganesh Idol visarjan on Ganesh Chaturthi.
- Concentration of substances like calcium, magnesium, silicon and heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury had significant increase.
- Lead used in colour for making POP idol affect heart, kidney, nervous system. Use of lead ranges from 6 to 10 micrograms which should be practically be ZERO.
- Lakes, rivers where the natural water springs may get blocked with POP deposition and it can also cause decrease in depth of water body.
- Tons of POP is added to Mumbai sea as more than 2 lakhs Ganesh idol immersed in 2011.
The POP Ganesh idols are destroying the natural acquatic eco system, creating serious ecological imbalance and environmental issue. Plant, fish die in large numbers and affecting human lives.
The environmental crisis is due to the non biodegradable materials used for making such idols and also the fact that the number of idols has gone up dramatically over the years implies that the concentration of such materials will increase in our natural resources.
Engineer goes green making Ganesh idols from garbage
The 72-year-old has been converting plastic waste to attractive objects since 1993
MUMBAI: Ganeshotsav in the city has become synonymous with environmental problems, but an eco-crusader from the city has found a unique way to celebrate the festival while conserving the environment.Above: Iyers collection of Ganesh idols, sports trophies and lanterns, which he made from plastic waste, on display at Dharam Veer Sambaji Hall in Santacruz. Below: Iyer on his bicycle, carrying nine such plastic Ganesh idols.
Septuagenarian Venkatram Iyer, a Santacruz resident, has made 40 Ganesh idols from waste, mostly plastic, such as bottles, oil cans and toothpaste tubes, which he displays at what he calls a waste museum at the Dharam Veer Sambaji Hall in Santacruz.
Iyer also displayed nine of these idols on his bicycle, his mode of transport.
In 1993, when the city saw a boom in the generation of plastic waste, I began converting waste to useful objects.
As a sports enthusiast, 72-year- old Iyer began by making trophies from waste and once they became popular, he ventured into making other things such as Ganpati idols as well.
For Iyer, any plastic waste t hat is lying around can be turned i nto something creative, such as a cricket bat or a carry bag.
He displays these i tems at the museum through the year. He also makes occasion-specific plastic articles, such as the national flag during Independence Day and lanterns for Diwali.
The purpose of creating plastic Ganesh idols is to show that we can celebrate the festival while also helping the environment. God is everywhere, even in an idol made from plastic, said Iyer.
The mechanical engineer, who later became a tennis coach, Iyer earned an entry in the Limca Book of Records in 2004 as a Recycle Wizard, for his innovative use of plastic waste.
Earlier, I would need to look for plastic waste to make these objects, Iyer said, adding that today, people come to him themselves to give him waste he could use.
Iyer said it takes him between ten minutes and half-an-hour to convert waste into something attractive. It depends on what I am making, he said.
Earlier, Iyer would keep the plastic i tems on display at his home, but last year, he shifted t he exhibition to the Santacruz hall, where a non-profit organisation Triratna Prerana Mandal, of which he is a member, conducts various activities.