Udayavni Special

Ganesha idol makers concerned over lack of sales ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi

Team Udayavani, Jul 17, 2020, 12:18 PM IST

Covid-19 lockdown has brought Ganesha idol makers life to a standstill as the Ganpati Mandals of the several state have already decided to keep the festivities simple

The current situation is bound to affect the celebration of festivals which inturn affects livelihood of many people associated with their preparations. Especially, The idol-making industry has taken a hit due to the health crisis

Usually, sculptors start making idols in March and finish their orders before the festival. This year,s there were no much orders and a few were not able to open their workshops due to the lockdown.

Also, Lack of availability of material to create idols have further increased their troubles. However, a few idol makers claim that they have already brought the raw materials and stored them.

Ramachandra Rao, local sculptor, said, “We have kept everything ready. Every year we make 200-250 idols. This year, however, we are not expecting much demand. Also, the size of the Ganapati idols have reduced from 12 ft to 5 ft. This is done to help in social distancing as it requires 12-15 people to carry 12ft Ganpati idol, whereas the 5 ft idol can be carried by 8 people”

“Chaturthi will be celebrated in October with social distancing measures in place. It is said that there will be no special entertainment programmes this year. Only pooja and bhajans will be conducted in the pandals,” he added

A majority of them have obtained loans at high interest rates as part of their preparation for the festival.They buy raw material on credit and repay them during the festive season. Now, considering the current situation, idol makers are unsure about the sales.

However, there are several other idol makers who prepare idols on special orders and receive money or other items as ‘Gaurava kanike’

Ishwar Pai, Idol maker, said, “We have brought the raw materials before the lockdown and now we are getting orders of people keeping ganesha idol at home. But compared to last year, this year there are less orders. But we are hoping for the best”

But, many sculptors are still unsure about whether there will be permission given to celebrate the festival. They say they have not received any kind of notification from the government and do not know that whether they will be able to sell the idols or not.

However, sources claim, the Karnataka Kumbara Karakushala Kaigarika Sangha will soon talk to chief minister BS Yediyurappa and express its concern. The association has requested the government to allow members to sell idols which are less than three ft in  height to help them repay the creditors.

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