Mangaluru: On the occasion of Ganesha festival, discussions always crop up about being sensitive towards nature and opting for ‘Green Ganesha’.
Unfortunately, nothing concrete has happened to do away with Ganesha idols laced with harmful chemicals and paints, which eventually land in water bodies contaminating the same.
However, here in Mangalore, one man has taken upon himself the onus of making people understand the need to bring home ‘Green Ganesha’, who will bid good bye and merge with Mother Nature without causing her any pain.
Meet Gavali Suresh N Shetty from National Environmental Care Federation (NECF).
Shetty has been distributing Ganesha idols made of only clay. The feat does not just end with this. Shetty’s Ganesha idols are attached to a sapling each.
Instead of immersing the idols, he urges people to keep it in their property. The idol is attached to the sapling and due to natural factors, the idol corrodes and feeds the plant, thus nurturing the environment.
How the idea cropped up?
Suresh Shetty, a civil contractor by profession was deeply moved by the news of death of youth somewhere during immersion programme and decided to work out a way to avoid such mishaps.
He wanted to spread an idea of celebration, which would discard the practice of idol immersion and thus started the noble work of distributing clay idols attached to saplings.
He met idol maker Vinayak Shet from Car Street, Mangalore and started the work of idol distribution last year.
“I had medicinal plants attached to idols last year. This year I have distributed 62 such idols. This idea works out well for people living in apartments, ” says Shetty.
Appreciation by Modi
Suresh Shetty says he had mailed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the then state forest minister Ramanath Rai and Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC), requesting to support this idea and to implement a strict rule to ban idols made using paints and chemicals. “Though I have not received any response from other elected representatives, I have got an appreciation letter from the office of Narendra Modi,” Shetty says.
While life-size statues of Lord Ganesha continue to adorn the city, Shetty knows that there is a long way to go, but he also understands that journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.