VIJAYAWADA: With the State government denying permission for celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in public places due to Covid-19, artisans, who hoped of a good business this year, are staring at a bleak future.Idol makers who have workshops at Nunna Mango Market Yard, Penamaluru, Bhavanipuram, Yanamalakuduru and Gollapudi are appealing to the government for relaxations during the festival.
G Mahesh, who owns a workshop at Nunna Mango Market Yard said, “We started making idols a month before the festival at our workshop, but our efforts went waste. We have suffered losses for two years in a row now. So far, we received only two orders for Ganesh idols. With the government directing that festivities should be a low-key affair, our hopes have been dashed.”
Mahesh took a loan of `2 lakh from a moneylender at high interest as capital for making the idols this year. But due to poor business, the artisan has appealed to the government to allow festival committees to install at least 2 feet to 5 feet idols adhering to the Covid-19 norms.
Similar is the case with Anumol Jain of Udaipur, who works at an idol making unit at Kanuru. “Earlier this week, members of the festival committees approached us to inquire about the prices of the idols, and we expected our business would run in full swing. But with the government restrictions, a few of them who paid us an advance amount for the idols have cancelled their orders and demanded us to pay them back the advance,” he said.
Despite fa cing several odds, most artisans have started making the Ganesh idols as they do not know any other craft. “We are appealing to the government to provide financial assistance to those whose livelihood depends on making Ganesh idols,” Jain added.
VHP against govt restrictions
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is planning to take out a rally from their office in Satyanarayanapuram to the Ganesh temple in One Town opposing the State government’s strict restrictions. “It has become a routine affair for the State government to impose restrictions on Hindu festivals. The central government has clearly instructed the State governments to check implementation of Covid-19 norms ahead of the festive season. But the State government is not allowing festival committees to set up pandals to celebrate Ganesh festival,” Parishad Vijaywada leader N Shivaji lamented.