It looks as if Mumbaikars are getting responsible, certainly as far as the environment goes. At least that is what the trends suggest. Every year, while there was a rush to book the plaster-of-Paris Ganesha idols, with bookings closing almost a month in advance, the eco-friendly Ganeshas needed a booking of just a week before the festival.
That has changed and now if you want the eco-friendly Ganesha to bless your home, then the booking needs to be done in the next few days. Most will be closing bookings almost two months in advance. That’s what this diarist learnt after we got a call from our regular idol maker of seven years, who informed us that bookings will be closing soon. “There is a great demand and orders have more than quadrupled,” he said.
That the Mumbaikar psyche is undergoing a change is a great relief and the credit goes to the many NGOs and concerned citizens who influenced public perception and saved our shores and its marine life from destruction. However, one NGO that must really get credit for having initiated this trend, almost a decade ago, is the Aniruddha Bapu Trust, who had first introduced the concept and whose volunteers have been making and dispensing idols, made of paper and food grade solvents, on a no profit basis, across their many centers in the city at almost one third the price of the POP idols. And that truly is giving the festival a spiritual touch.