Published: 01st September 2019
Immerse Ganpati, get Tulsi: How these special Mumbaikars are helping the environment this Ganesh Chaturthi
The Om trust, based in Mumbai's Worli, is planning to open a residential programme for the young adults with Down Syndrome soon
Pollution from idol immersion has been the cause of concern for quite some time now. Idols can pollute the water bodies and have an impact for over 100 years, the toxic paint irreversibly pollutes the water along with the jewellery etc that are immersed with the idol. But this group in Mumbai has a way out.
Om Creations Trust, an NGO, is helping individuals, mostly women, aged anywhere between 20-64 years, diagnosed with Down Syndrome and other related issues, is making eco-friendly Ganesha idols this year. The idols, five to six inches tall, are made of clay and have a seed in them. The eco-friendly idols come with a small flower pot that you can use to immerse Ganpati and then it transforms into a Tulsi plant.
"All you need is a glass of water. Immerse the idol and within a few days a Tulsi plant will sprout," said Rupa Dalal, who handles marketing and business development for the trust. "You will be amazed at how skillfully, yet fast they work. The work of art is exquisite. We have trained the instructor to help them out but they have picked up the trade quite well and are almost as good as experts now," she said, proudly.
"We have been working towards helping differently-abled individuals for almost three decades. What started in one of the trustee's homes with just four members is now a full-blown operation," Said Rupa. "We are also planning a fully-residential facility for them where they can get training, work and also stay. The parents are getting older and they are worried about their children's future. This will be a permanent solution for them," she added.
Formed in the year 1991 by visionary special educators and parents of young specially-abled girls, the trust believed that through professional training and support, the inherent skills of those born with Down Syndrome and other related issues could be channelised in productive ways, thereby empowering them to lead as normal a life as possible. They have diversified over the years, both in terms of the people they help and the products they make. The individuals working here are also paid stipends based on the quality and quantity of the products they make. Their income ranges from Rs 5,000 to Rs 9,000. “Om Creations gives me a salary for what I do. I save it carefully. It’s my dream to go to London with the money that I save. I care about my parents and I really want to take care of them with my savings,” said Anisha Mepani, who loves painting and dancing and excels in both.
With pollution, corruption and hate filling the world around us these individuals bring the breath of fresh air we all need.
Ganpati Bappa Morya!