Ever wondered what happens to those Ganesha idols after nimarjanam (immersion)? Crores of Ganesha idols are immersed in our water bodies, causing more harm than good to our marine ecosystem. To bring a change to this, many have opted for an eco-friendly route this year by choosing ‘seed Ganesha’ over the other ones.
The concept of seed Ganesha — wherein the seed within the idol grows to be a plant within a few days — has been doing the rounds in the past few years but it has seen a drastic rise in demand this year especially due to the pandemic.
Rajya Sabha MP, Joginapally Santosh Kumar, has also been promoting seed Ganesha in the recent times. He has also launched a neem seed Ganesha idol which, after ‘nimarjanam’, can be planted at our backyards or colonies.
“If these seed-embedded idols are used instead of the normal ones, people can celebrate the Ganesh festival at their homes and stay away from going out for processions during this Covid-19 pandemic times,” Santosh Kumar said during the launch.
While these seed Ganeshas have been sold widely around the city through online platforms, many have improvised with different seeds like leafy vegetable seeds and so on. “These seed Ganeshas are made from a mixture of soil and clay with a seed inside. We have methi or coriander seeds embedded in these idols. After ‘puja’ and ‘nimarjanam’, these seeds can be sown with the idol clay. The seed will germinate within 1 to 2 weeks of planting,” says Manjunath B, manager at Green Station, an Organic grocery store in Hyderabad.
Green Station also provides puja items required so people don’t have to go to crowded markets.
“Due to ample time in the lockdown, people have got the space to think and contemplate on their actions. One of them being environmental consciousness, people now have learnt to think twice before simply buying something. And so seed Ganesha has seen a rising demand this year,” says Avani Rajan who bought a seed Ganesha for the first time.
“The seed Ganeshas also inculcate the habit of planting in our lives as many of us just keep thinking but don’t really act on it. It is a right start for a greener beginning,” she adds.
So this year, Lord Ganesha will not depart after the 10-day-long festival but will grow in the form of a tree and provide shade for years together.
How to make a clay Ganesha
While many people are selling seed Ganesha or simple eco-friendly Ganeshas in the city, this year some chose to make their own idol at home. Wondering how one can make a perfect Ganesha idol at home? Here are a few tips:
• Take clay and mix it well in water to make a dough. Divide the dough into pieces that might look like different parts of the idol’s body.
• Make a goof-ball sized torso of the idol and use a toothpick to join the body parts. In case a toothpick isn’t available, use a few drops of water to stick.
• Make five long rolls to make legs, arm and trunk of the idol. Take two rolls, flatten the end of the rolls outwards and stick them onto the torso of the idol. Take one roll, wrap it around the idol just above the legs and flatten one of the sides upwards to make it look like a blessing. Create palm for the idol. Carefully carve the fingers and the thumb on it with a toothpick.
• Take another piece of clay and roll it in the shape of a ball and place it over the body to look like the head of the idol. Take the final piece of long roll and place it in the middle of the head. Make the trunk curvy or a pointy look as per choice.
• Make small size balls for ears, eyes and ladoos. Use some drops of water for each of them and give a finishing touch. Stick the ears and flatten them out. Stick the eyes and place a ladoo on the hand.
• You can also creatively carve designs for dhoti as per your choice. And the idol is ready to accept prayers!
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