Vasant Bharat Patil is the third generation of his family following the around 150-year-old tradition of celebrating the Ganpati festival eco-friendly in a different way. The family has been making Ganpati with rice on banana leaves. After ten days festival, the rice is used for some good purposes instead of immersing.
Patil says that he is following his ancestors’ tradition and celebrating the festival in the same way despite a lot of changes in idol making taking place over the period.
For ten days, all the family members gather together for Bappachi aarti. “No one in our family has worshipped clay idol. We have an old tradition inherited from our forefathers. We are maintaining it in the 21st century,” said Patil.
A few years ago, the Ganpati replica used to be made by Vasant Patil’s uncle, but after him, his elder son-in-law started doing it. The eldest member of the family makes a replica of Lord Ganesha from rice on a banana leaf. The puja is performed for ten days in a great devotional atmosphere.
“On one hand the tradition is preserved and on the other hand the message of environmental friendliness is also given,” said Patil, adding as our forefathers have followed the practice, our next generation will also continue it.
Talking about the history, when villagers approached Patil’s ancestor for bringing Ganpati to the village, Patil said his ancestor brought one bowl of rice and asked to make a Ganpati and worship it. Since then, the tradition is followed. The rice is a symbol of prosperity and having enough grains to feed everyone.