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Celebrating Ganesh sustainably

By on September 09, 2016
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Celebrating Ganesh sustainably

Refraining from glossy idols and firecrackers during festivities can help avoid hazardous health problems associated with toxic paints and smoke

Ganesham Chari from Bandoda, Ponda is busy dirtying himself and his immediate family members with clay. The dirtier he gets, the prettier his Ganesh idols look.

Chari speaks about his passion and profession rolled into one: “As far as we know, my great grandfather was involved in making Ganesh idols. I continued the tradition. My son, daughters and niece help me so this seasonal occupation will probably continue after me. Before I begin, I have a bath; utter a silent prayer, asking Lord Ganesha the grace to finish the task in the best possible way.”

He procures a load of clay from Thivim at `8000 per pick up. Ashadi Ekadashi marks the beginning of their work. Chari explains, “The clay has to be soaked and beaten thoroughly. Tiny hard lumps have to be crushed and blended or they will pop out of the idol, destroying it. The more we beat the clay, the more workable it gets.”
Though a traditional artisan, Chari moulds only about 50 idols. As is the practice elsewhere, most of the idols take birth through a mould of cement. This hastens the pace of work and about five identical idols can be produced per day, excluding the finishes. But then Chari is a good artist and takes pride in shaping a few exclusive idols strictly without any aid. 


Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.
Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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