VISAKHAPATNAM: Artisans making Lord Ganesh idols are hoping for a turnaround in the situation, so that they would sustain. Due to coronavirus pandemic and economic slowdown, they have not been getting many orders.
Artisans usually make 32 to 40 clay Ganesh idols per day and take bulk orders a couple of months before the festival. They get orders for huge idols from retailers. Speaking to Express, artisan Madhavi at Kummari Veedi in Visakhapatnam, said, "Usually traders place orders for small clay idols and a lot of companies, NGOs and other individuals place bulk orders for distribution on puja-eve to promote eco-friendly celebrations. However, this year due to social distancing norm, community celebrations is a far-fetched dream."
Meanwhile, due to lack of orders, the livelihood of many artisans has been hit. "Usually we earn sufficient amount for our year-long survival with the orders we get for Ganesh Chaturthi and Dasara festivals. Due to economic slowdown this year, many poor and middle class families are struggling to make ends meet. In these times, many would like to celebrate festivals in a low-key manner," opined Kolkata Maa Durga proprietor Kokhan.
People, however, may also go for traditional method of making Ganesh idols with turmeric as a precautionary measure to ward off virus and also to save money. According to priests, an idol made of turmeric is enough to worship Lord Ganesh, said Lakshmi, a housewife.
Hoping for a turnaround
Artisans usually make 40 clay Ganesh idols per day and take bulk orders a couple of months before the festival However, due to pandemic, they have not been getting many orders