In a three bedroom hall kitchen flat at Manisha Nagar in Kalwa, Thane, Vinokumar Jaju has used most of the space in the hall to set up a “space workshop” for his Ganesh idol with an aim to exhibit the significance of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) recent launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III. Jaju has kept his seven-day-old idol in the “workshop” to attract visitors. For the past 18 years, the 49-year-old welder employed with Larsen and Tubro in Powai has been experimenting with different themes during Ganeshotsav to inform others about several political and social issues.
After shifting to the aerospace department of his company in March this year, Jaju took it upon himself to help children understand the meaning of the launch. “I realised that the feat, although important, is not understood by one and all. It is binding for the future generation of the country to understand what the launch means for us and how it allows India to better its stand in the world. As the topic interested me, I took it upon myself to make it a theme for my house Ganapati,” Jaju said.
The exhibition called “Department of Space” has posters of the solar system and the galaxy, along with images of ISRO scientists like Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and former President A P J Abdul Kalam.
With help of an audio recording, visitors get to see the model of a rocket being launched depicting the GSLV launch. A mini globe and other posters have been put up as well “Through the exhibition, I wanted visitors to understand the importance of the launch. Different types of information that are necessary for farmers and geological studies and for the security of the country could be attained by us if we have our own satellite. It is meant to be a tribute to the efforts of the scientists in the country,” Jaju added.
Earlier, his exhibitions included themes like “people’s opinions on gauraksha”, “carving a prototype of ocean and water bodies”, “tribute to Dahi Handi” and “freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak”. “I have been a welder for 25 years. With a shoestring budget and innovative concepts, I try to either inform or give “food for thought” to devotees who come see my Ganesha. After all, he is also the Lord of wisdom,” said Jaju. He makes audio and video recordings of his designs every year with the help of his friends so that he can have a collection of his works.