“I was born in West Bengal. I learnt the art of clay idol making from my parents. We wake up at 6 am every morning and work hard till the dusk to make these Ganesh idols. While the women help us in procuring the raw material, we put it all together to achieve the right size and shape. It’s a complicated process and we have to ensure that we use pure clay from the basins of river Hooghly in Kolkata. The first step is to source two varieties of material – mud and clay in the month of May. We consider the ‘Kolkata Ganga Mitti’ pure so we use only that for the idols. It also gives a smooth and clean finish unlike the red mud which could make the surface crack. Some customers think that the eco-freindly Ganeshas break easily. I try to convince them that these idols can sustain for over 40 years and that’s how we build their trust. We color the idols to make them more attractive, but only with natural colors.
Earlier, the demand for these eco- friendly Ganesh idols was minimal. We’d hardly sell 30-35 of them. But things have changed now. Many people are coming forward to buy clay Ganeshas and I only hope the numbers increase, so we can preserve our own lakes and rivers. After all, it’s everyone’s responsibly to protect the environment.”
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