GOKAK: As the 2019 floods had created havoc in the lives of the Kumbar community members of Konnur village in Gokak taluk slapping heavy losses in crores of rupees to them from which they still trying to recover, they are in no mood to take the risk again this year and so they have already started shifting their workshop to a safe location.
It may be recalled that the 2019 floods had flushed away huge stock of eco-friendly Ganpati idols, ruining the annual earnings of about 300 families belonging to the Kumbhar community, the loss of which is estimated in crores, at Konnur.
It is reportedly the biggest unit making Ganpati idols of Karnataka established by the members of Kumbhar community which supplies idols in large scale to four states including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh. The mentioned unit operates under the banner - Kad Siddeshwar Ittangi Mattu Kumbharike Samanagala Utpadaka Sahakari Sangh’ (KSIMKSUSS).
Speaking to The New Indian Express, KSIMKSUSS supervisor Chanabassappa Tirakannavar informed that the earning of more than 300 families belonging to Kumbhar community is dependent on the Ganesha idols making unit which is on huge scale.
He said that the KSIMKSUSS provides them employment all the year to make eco-friendly Ganesha idols and this year it has prepared more than 2.5 lakh idols. Tirakannavar said that the 2019 flood water at KSIMKSUSS premises had reached 11 feet.
"It gave no time for the members of KSIMKSUSS to save the idols from flood water. But this year we do not want to take any risk. So sensing the possible flood situation we have started shift all the idols and materials to safer location," he said.
There are 17,000 villagers residing in Konnur and 90 percent of them belong to Kumbhar community, informed Tirakannavar. He said that government has only provided Rs 8,200 to each family as compensation for the loss in floods last year which is very negligible.
"Hence this year or in the years ahead we cannot afford to bear any losses as we are still not in a position to come out of the losses which we underwent last year due to floods," he concluded. About KSIMKSUSS: Spread across about an acre land, KSIMKSUSS, which was established in 1962 provides earning for about 300 families of Kumbhar community.
The members of the society themselves are both employers and employees who make idols of height from 1 foot to 3 feet at the workshop. The society provides them raw material and pay them according to the number of idols they make. It strictly makes only eco-friendly Ganpati idols since last three years. KSIMKSUSS looks after the marketing of the idols.