With increasing awareness about the need of using eco-friendly Ganesh idols, the demand for such idols has gone up in the city. Both government-run and private bodies that sell eco-friendly Ganesh idols have reported an increase in the sales. Eco-friendly Ganpati idols are those which are made of material that dissolve in the water easily after immersion, without causing major pollution.
Apart from the idols, a considerable chunk of devotees have chosen eco-friendly material to light up their pandals instead of using plastic, glass or thermacole for the same.
Shivajinagar-based Handmade Paper Institute, now named Papertells, which sells idols made of clay and that of cotton pulp, has registered an increase in the sales.
“The number of idols sold by us this year is at about 50 per cent higher than what we sold last year. We have two kinds of idols, those made of pure clay and those with a mixture of cotton pulp and clay. About 300 of the latter kind have been sold,” said Koteshwari Pillai, head (sales).
Chaitanya Tagade, who has been selling clay idols for last 10 years, said his firm sold 10,000 clay idols this year, of which about 4,500 were sold in Pune city alone.
“The demand has seen a huge surge. Actually, we were shocked by the demand for even bigger idols which were mostly sought by housing society mandals. These 1.5 feet tall idols cost between Rs 1,500 to 2,500 and the demand was such that we soon ran out of stock,” said Tagade, who plans to increase the supply next year. His firm also deals with eco-friendly makhar – the seat of the idol – which too were in high demand, he said.
Several suppliers feel a need to increase the supply given the encouraging response from the buyers, many of whom had to return empty-handed.
Deepak Borawake, a resident of Shivajinagar, said he tried hard to find a clay idol to install at home but failed to procure one. “We were determined to install a clay idol and hence went out looking for one. However, we were told that due to short supply, all were sold off. We had to settle for a PoP idol unwillingly,” said Borawake.