As Maharashtra gears up to host Ganesh Chaturthi, television actors are doing their bit by promoting eco-friendly idols of the Lord.
Usually made of Plaster of Paris and adorned with glittering clothes, tones of artificial jewellery and harmful chemical paint, the idols take extremely long to degrade and play havoc with the region's marine life, killing large number of fish.
Young environmentalists and popular television actors got together to organize a workshop to make small eco- friendly Ganesha idols using little grains of sand.
"An idea is to bring awareness because we all know that the Plaster of Paris which is used for making Ganesha idols is extremely harmful for the marine life. This year is just the starting, but next year, we going to take it on a very big scale," said Kiran Dubey, a television actress.
According to environmentalists, Plaster of Paris takes longer to dissolve, as also it reduces the oxygen level in water, resulting in the death of marine life.
Households that install small idols that are up to 2.5-feet tall are favoring these eco-friendly idols.
Ganesh Chaturthi, which would be celebrated in the month of September, is hugely popular in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra, where thousands of idols are made during the festival season.
Legend has it that Hindu Goddess Parvati had created Ganesh from a perfumed putty-like substance.
Parvati's husband Lord Shiva, one of the three most powerful Gods in the Hindu pantheon, during his rage beheaded the young lad and barred his entry into Kailash, Shiva's snow-clad mountain abode.
When he later realised that the boy was created by his wife Parvati, Shiva brought him back to life by slaying an elephant and giving the boy the animal's head. Thus was created Ganesh, one of the best-loved of Indian gods.