October 10, 2018
Navratri in Tamil Nadu is incomplete without Golu. The nine-day celebration starts with Ganpati Puja, followed by welcoming of goddesses Saraswati, Parvati and Lakshmi . Friends and family members go to each other’s houses to ‘see the golu’, whereupon they are received with prasad, kungummum and perhaps a small bag of gifts. The unique festival of dolls is being celebrated this time in an eco-friendly manner by Chitra Ravindran.
Clay dolls, figurines of gods and goddesses, miniatures of animals, children, food and daily paraphernalia were used in the arrangement of her Golu. She shunned plastics totally, used homemade glue using all purpose flour to be in the making of her ‘waste-free Golu’.
She took to eco-friendly, practices over the last 10 years and works relentlessly to provide herself with such options – from bags to cutlery, packaging, soaps, tooth powder, dishwash liquid and more. Her aim is to spread the message that everyone can live a sustainable lifestyle if one wants.
Chitra (57) economises the use of energy, waste, gas and chooses organic and recycled goods as way of life.
An international study published last year said that a global temperature rise of 2.25°C (not far from the Paris Agreement goal) by the end of the century could create dangerous heat conditions across South Asia, including India.
If this happens, millions of human lives could potentially be at risk. Under the same scenario, deadly heat wave conditions could happen every two years in South Asia, instead of 25 years at present, and they might impact 55 per cent of the region’s population, as against 15 today. The numbers are far grimmer if temperatures are to rise by 4.5°C by 2100, which is a possibility, as many studies suggest.
This type of a Golu is a positive step towards being eco-conscious. She has tips for making such Golu this year: use clay dolls, make rangolis out of flowers, use coconut shells as diyas, use bamboo stems as stands and use gift bags made of jute or paper.
Serving others and the environment serves you. With our choices today we are working towards a better habitat for future generation, she reminds all.