To spread green message, 600 children shape Ganesh out of clay
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In the run-up to the Ganesh festival, 600-odd children have been literally getting hands-on experience at making the festival an environmental friendly one. They have been learning to make Ganpati idols using Shadu Mati' (clay) at workshops organised by Big Bazaar in association with The Indian Express.
The aim was spreading the message that clay idols disperse easily in water compared to plaster of paris idols that lead to water pollution after immersion. Thousands of idols, big and small, are immersed in water bodies every year during the festival.
The clay idols the children made at workshops are on display at Big Bazaar stores in Kothrud, Pimpri, and Amanora Town Centre. Students of several schools in Kothrud, Pimpri and Hadapsar areas participated in the workshop hosted by famous sculptor Abhijit Dhondphale.
Every session featured a talk by Dhondphale on the significance of the Ganesh festival followed by a presentation on the professional idol-making that involves blueprint sketches, collection of clay, and a step-by-step insight into daily work of a professional idol maker. He also sculpted a Ganesh idol for participants to learn the art.
The clay was brought from Konkan region and distributed among participants. Dhondphale assisted them in shaping the idols.
"We labelled each idol with details of the student who made it. The idols are on display at our stores," said Ashwin P. Deo, marketing manager, Big Bazaar, Future Group, Pune. They can be bought and the cost ranges from Rs 21 to Rs 51.
Dhondphale has sorted the idols according to perfection and finish.
"The proceeds from the sale will be donated to NGOs in the city working for children," said Deo and added, "The initiative was to spreading awareness on preventing pollution." Three students who made the best idols will get certificates and gift vouchers on September 19 5 pm at Amanora Big Bazaar, Hadapsar."
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