Celebrating Less-Polluting Fish-Friendly Ganesh Chaturthi

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An Edible Delight for Aquatic Life as Artist Krupa Shah’s Innovative Twist to Ganpati Idol

Prominent abstract artist and philanthropist, Krupa Shah, has time and again made an impact on everyone with her artworks and social initiatives. A skilful artist and a mother of three daughters who hails from Mumbai, has pledged to create eco-friendly Ganesh idol from red soil, alum, organic colours and homemade fish food.

Every year, more than 2 lakh Ganesh idols are immersed in Mumbai alone. Since most of these idols are made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) and painted with heavy pigments, the paints containing heavy metals seep into the lakebed, thereby harming the aquatic life. To bring about a change in the existing situation, Krupa Shah wanted to create a Ganpati idol that does not disturb the aquatic ecosystem or pollutes the seawater. Installed in her residence in the cultural hub of the city, South Mumbai, this Ganesh idol, when immersed after a day and a half of celebration, will prove helpful to the aquatic life.

Taking a step forward to contribute to the environment and help the special children of the city, Shah has urged her visitors and fellow devotees to offer stationery items to Lord Ganesha as an alternative to sweets, cash, or coconuts. Post the celebration of the festival, the stationary items will be distributed among the underprivileged children as a way of giving back to society.

While making a difference in a meaningful way, Krupa Shah, the creator of the first-of-its-kind fish-friendly Ganesh idol, said, “We have been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi since a couple of years. But this time, my daughters and I wanted to do something different that would not just satisfy us but prove helpful to society as well. Talking about our idol, on the day of immersion, the mud will melt inside the water, alum will dissolve and purify it, and the fish food will be consumed by the fishes, without causing any damage due to decorations.”

Besides this initiative, Shah has also been conducting workshops to teach school and college students the art of making Ganpati idols out of eco-friendly materials. Shah’s aim is to diminish the harmful effects of Plaster of Paris (PoP) and toxic paints made with chemicals that create the largest amount of water pollution. She adds, “A small change or contribution can make a big difference.”

Having dabbled in different forms of art – fabric art, watercolours, sculptures, and glass paintings, Shah likes to go back to sculpting and hopes to create art with ‘purpose.’

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