Phool Kumar, an artisan from a remote area in Rajasthan makes Ganesh idols out of environment-friendly materials. Every year before the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, Kumar comes to Chandigarh to sell his idols.
The colors and materials used in these idols are eco-friendly. Synthetic materials are not used in making these idols. Unlike idols made out of synthetic materials which cause harm to water bodies after their immersion, these idols cause them no harm. Idols of all shapes and sizes are available with the artist.
While talking to ANI on Tuesday, Kumar shared his journey as an idol maker. "Our ancestors used to practice idol making. I learned it from my parents. I made idols in Maharashtra, Delhi, and eventually in Chandigarh. I have been in Punjab for years. I make a variety of idols. I mostly make Ganesha idols," said Kumar.
In the process of making idols, he said, "I bring clay in trucks from Haridwar. Craftsmen are arranged from Rajasthan and colors for the idols come from Maharashtra. The work starts four months before the festival. 2,000-2,500 idols are made." "Eco-friendly idols are in huge demand. I have been getting orders from many places. Also, I sell them at affordable prices between Rs 200 and 800," Kumar said on demand and prices of his idols.
Kumar hopes that people will participate in the festival without harming the environment. "I hope that this time people will take part in Ganesh Chaturthi in large numbers and buy their idols in large numbers as compared to last year. Due to Covid-19 last year, fewer people came for the idols. I appeal to people that they celebrate the festival without harming the environment," Kumar said.