Outlet for eco-friendly Ganesha idols

Mud Ganesha. Pic: vinita.

Ganesh Chaturthi marks the start of the Hindu festive season that continues through the rest of the calendar year.  Due to its relative lack of rituals, it is also said to be less of a religious and more of a social event. 

Building on the social nature of the festival, Chetan K S and his wife Vijayalakshmi, founders of The Living store (Chamarajpet) are attempting to spread awareness on being more ecologically sensitive on Ganesh Chaturthi, this September 11th.

Last year they held a workshop at their premises to make clay Ganeshas and the overwhelming response they got egged them on to make the eco-friendly idols available this year too. Made in Pottery Town, Bangalore, the 500 odd pieces of unpainted clay Ganeshas are available in 4 different sizes this year and have been priced between Rs 100 – Rs 350.  They are also stocking idols of Gowri available in two sizes. Idols are also available painted with natural colours.

Chethan from Living Shop. Pic: Vinita.

Chetan and Vijayalakshmi are both architects and always been drawn to environmentally conscious methods to design and architecture. In the course of their work, they felt that traditional craft and indigenous knowledge was losing its prominence. The need to do something resulted in the launch of The Living on June 5th 2009.  While it presently functions as a retail store, the vision is to work closely with various crafts groups and support them in terms of design and marketing.

Every year, the state government bodies including the BBMP, Lake Development Authority and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board request idol makers and buyers to avoid metal based painted idols. But a cursory look at Bangalore roads show painted and Plaster of Paris idols quite prevalent.

The Living has partnered with several organisations across South India that promote crafts produced by women’s self help groups. For instance, they stock palm craft products from K4 from Kanyakumari, bamboo items from Uravum from Kerala, musical instruments from Swaram, Auroville, and books from Tulika and Other India Press.

The Living
#56, Tatana Mane Compound,
III Main Road, Chamarajapet
Bangalore 560018
Ph: 9241715008 / 9901303390

Kham Design
No. 1, 1st Floor, Veena Kala Mandir,
Tata Silk Farm Circle,
K.R. Road, Bangalore – 560 082
Ph: 65330339, 9901303390

They have also recently partnered with recently with groups working on various aspects of environmental consciousness like EnviroFit (for clean cooking stoves) and Daily Dump (for composters). The Living also stocks products from Schevaran, Mysore (cleaning products).

Looking around at the store, one can see that Chetan and Vijayalakshmi are keen to make a difference in whichever way they can. As Chetan proudly says, except for the main glass door entrance, the rest of the structure and storage at the store has been made from recycled wood and materials from their various construction sites.

For eco-friendly Ganeshas, you can also contact Mala Dhawan
4 Ashley Road, Off M G Road, Bangalore 25
Contact 9845008482, maladhawan[at]gmail[dot]com

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About Vinita 34 Articles
Vinita shares tips and experiences about all things related to growing an organic garden.