Prominent abstract artist and philanthropist Krupa Shah has made an impact on people’s minds time and again with her artworks and social initiatives. A skilful artist and a mother of three daughters hailing from Mumbai, this time around, she has pledged to create an eco-friendly Ganesha idol from red soil, alum, organic colours and homemade fish food.
Every year, more than 200,000 Ganesha idols are immersed in Mumbai, alone. Since most of these are made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) and painted with colours containing heavy metals that seep into the waterbed, they create havoc for aquatic life.
To bring about a change in the existing situation, Shah wanted to create a Ganpati idol that did not disturb the aquatic ecosystem, or pollute the waters. Installed in her residence in the cultural hub of the city, South Mumbai, this Ganesha idol, when immersed after a day and a half of celebrations, will prove helpful for aquatic life.
Giving back to society
Taking a step forward to contribute to the environment and help special children of the city, Shah has urged her visitors and fellow devotees to offer stationery items to Lord Ganesha as an alternative to sweets, cash or coconuts. After the festival celebrations, the stationery items will be distributed among underprivileged children as a way of giving back to society.
While making a difference in a meaningful way, Shah, the creator of the first-of-its-kind, fish-friendly Ganesha idol, says, “We’ve been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi for a couple of years. But, this time, my daughters and I wanted to do something different that wouldn’t only satisfy us, but prove helpful to society, as well. Talking about our idol, on the day of immersion, the clay will melt in the water, the alum will dissolve and purify it and the fish food will be consumed by the fish without causing any harm because of the decorations.”
Workshop in schools & colleges on eco-friendly Ganesha idols
Besides this initiative, Shah has also been conducting workshops to teach school and college students the art of making Ganpati idols from eco-friendly materials. Shah’s aim is to stop the harmful effects of PoP and toxic chemical paints that pollute the water bodies. She says, “A small change, or contribution can make a big difference.”
Having dabbled in different forms of art — fabric art, watercolours, sculptures and glass paintings, Shah likes to go back to sculpting and hopes to create ‘art with a purpose’.