Vinayagar Chaturthi: Woman whose family has been making clay Ganeshas for four generations
KARUR: This Vinayagar Chaturthi people at Karur in Tamil Nadu are queuing up outside the house of a woman who makes handmade Ganesha idols using clay.
Amirthavalli, 45, lives near the Thanthonimalai Temple in the city.
People of the Thanthonimalai area come in large numbers to her house to buy her handmade clay Ganesha idols.
Amirthavalli is the fourth-generation member from her family to make Ganesha idols out of clay. She expressed her sadness at the fact that most of the pottery makers she knew were quitting the business due to lack of support from the government.
While speaking to Express, she said, "I have been making these Ganesha idols for the people for more than 20 years now. And I make them only during the Vinayagar Chaturthi season every year. People show up every year in great numbers, so I couldn't stop making the idols despite the struggles I face in getting the clay. I cannot send those who come to my home looking for the idols empty handed. Every year, I receive orders a couple of days ahead of the Vinayagar Chaturthi and I start making them after collecting the argil from the ponds at Seethapatti of Amur. Nowadays most of the lakes and ponds have been turned into buildings. So it has become very difficult for us, as the clay isn't available anywhere."
Amirthavalli added that "Like many other pottery makers, we too had a big workshop long time ago. While we had a kiln for pottery making, a private bank was established nearby our workshop. Later they made the officials to remove our kiln and vacate our workshop. So, now we have moved on to other works, sparing the Ganesha idol making alone. Last year I made around 110 idols for the Chaturthi and this year I hope the numbers will go past beyond that."
Though her idols are priced only at Rs 100, most of her regular buyers pay her only Rs 60-Rs 70 for the idols.