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Chaturthi with a cause


With an aim to promote a greener Goa, Yuva, a voluntary organisation involved in social activities in Panaji has created a Ganesh idol made entirely out of nature. Additionally the organisation has come up with the concept of offering seed bombs as prasad to those who visit for dikhawa.

Yuva has been creating idols with a difference since 2015. “This year, we decided to come up with a social initiative and create an idol made out of various plants such as jackfruit and palm leaves along with coconut shells. We have also used parts of trees cut out by the CCP due to monsoon,” said founder, Yuva, Raghuvir Mahale.

The 35 Yuva members took around 25 days to complete buidling the 13-foot idol and were helped by 25 volunteers. The idol was created using various parts of a tree drawing from the age old tradition when people built huts by conjoining palm leaves.

During dikhawa, when devotees visit the idol to seek blessings, seed bombs will be distributed as prasad, which the devotees can then plant. “This year, the scene showcases the idol of Lord Ganesha dancing in the water due to the heavy downpour. So along with devotion, we also want to promote a social message through during the dikhawa,” he added. Mahale thus ensures that everyone takes home a message of an eco-friendly celebration.

Mahale and his wife had planned to give out seed bombs as prasad two months ago and sought people willing to donate them. While there were many people who made and sold them, the issue of cost and preservation forced them to look elsewhere. Mahale then contacted Rajashri and Akshay Khandeparkar who agreed to make the seed bombs for free. “Rajashri usually makes these seed bombs. She really liked my idea and said that she will give it to us for free provided it reaches the right hand,” said Mahale. The Khandeparkars donated 2000 seed bombs and 1200 have been distributed among devotees. The initiative has received a good response so far.

(The Ganesh idol is on display till September 15, 5:30 pm to 6 p.m. at Fonte Phoenix, Mala Zar, Panaji. Visitors will be given seed bombs as prasad.)

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