Meet Rintu, the designer turned home-baker who made a very special Ganesha idol this year – an idol made of chocolate which served the larger purpose of feeding many underprivileged children in Mumbai. Here are seven more amazing things to know about her, and the great work she does to contribute to the betterment of the society in her own way.
Many people are talking about Rintu Kalyani Rathod, the woman who has been in the news for the wonderfully creative Ganesha idol that she made using chocolate.
And behind the idol was a unique idea – to bring joy in the lives of hundreds of underprivileged kids.
The idol was made using 35 kgs of chocolate and was made in over 50 hours.
It had no added preservatives, and was decorated with edible colours, as the purpose behind the idol was to distribute it as food among those who could never afford a treat like this. To maintain good hygiene, Rintu ensured that the idol was kept in an air-conditioned room.
On September 21, 2015, the idol was immersed in 90 litres of milk and the chocolate milk was then distributed among underprivileged children.
Last year, with a similar idol, Rintu had reached out to 1100 people who enjoyed the chocolate milk prasad.
But Chocolate Ganesha idols are not the only things that she should be applauded and recognized for. Here are some of the other incredible things she has done, that you should know about.
She started making eco-friendly Ganesha idols in 2011, and the first one was made of sugar
Rintu used to go for regular morning walks along the Juhu beach of Mumbai. The sight of broken Ganesha idols strewn all over the beach was not tolerable for the Ganesha follower in her. Just like the Chocolate Ganesha, Sugar Ganesha was also immersed in milk and distributed among the underprivileged kids.
A commercial designer turned home baker
Rintu was a commercial designer by profession. But after her son was born, she wanted to be a full time, hands-on mother. This desire, combined with her passion for baking, led her to leave the job and start a home baking company called Rini Bakes – Bake My Dreams, a company which specializes in three-dimensional, egg-less cakes.
Her work with an NGO
On Christmas of 2014, Rintu surprised the kids at Access Life, an NGO, committed towards working with and making a difference in the lives of children diagnosed with, or receiving treatment, for Cancer. She went there, along with her husband Nimesh Rathod and their son, and gifted the children a beautiful ginger house-cake and some very tasty ginger bread cookies prepared by her. All the kids were overjoyed with this sweet gesture.
Her unique contribution to the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign
In July this year, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the citizens to start the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign to save the girl child, Rintu came up with a unique idea. She made a cake in the shape of an abandoned girl child and named it as ‘Save the Girl Child’. When people asked her if she will cut this cake, this is how she answered-
“As an artist, I convey my emotions through my creations and my medium is cakes. After seeing this cake, I had so many people asking me in horror, would you cut this cake? It’s a baby!
My answer to them – Feeling so much for the cake? Why not think about the actual girls and do something for them?”
Cupcake Ganesha rangoli made of 3000 cupcakes
Rintu was not alone in making the chocolate Ganeshas this year. She gathered 100 baker friends of hers and encouraged them to bake 30 cup cakes each. These 3000 cupcakes were turned into a beautiful cupcake Ganesha rangoli at the Ramakrishna Mission in Khar. The cakes were then distributed among children there.
She started the Food Army with housewives and sent 1 lakh theplas to Nepal earthquake victims. All in just 48 hours
When the earthquake struck Nepal on April 24 this year, Rintu wanted to help. She, along with her team of housewives, texted people on WhatsApp and asked them for help. In no time, about 1 lakh theplas were gathered from all over Mumbai. Jet Airways helped in sending the consignment of these theplas and an NGO called Nari Bikas Sangha distributed them among various villages affected by the quake.
She will conduct free workshops in 2016 to teach the procedure of making a Chocolate Ganesha idol. “Everyone feels pride in making a Ganesha idol bigger than the previous year. I too wish to make my Ganesha bigger and better every year so that I can help more kids to get a smile on their face,” she says.
Not content with this, Rintu now wants to take this idea further and help anyone who wants to make chocolate Ganeshas of their own and distribute in their neighbourhood. Says she,
“This year he was born in my home but next year he will be born in thousands of homes to spread the divinity manifold. No matter where you live, I will reach to you with a free tutorial on how to make a Chocolate Ganesha.
Next year if all of us make edible idols and feed the underprivileged kids, it will be a true celebration! After all, real festival is when no one sleeps hungry. Remember, change starts with YOU.”
To take up her offer, just register yourself on this link.