KENDRAPARA: Replete with idols of different sizes, a festive aura already envelops the potters’ colonies at Kumbharasahi in Kendrapara district as the artistic hands there are busy giving final touches to the idols ahead of Ganesh and Vishwakarma puja.
With few days left for the festivals, these artisans are working round-the-clock to bring life to the idols of the two deities. Speaking about the same, 52-year-old Pravat Behera said he has an experience of over three decades in painting idols.
“My family members too have been involved in making earthen idols for long. Since Ganesh Puja is approaching, we are busy giving the final touches to Lord Ganesh's idols. After it ends, we will begin painting idols of Lord Vishwakarma,” Pravat said while painting a Ganesh idol.
As many as 60 potter families in the area have been engaged in the idol-making profession for many generations. “Since time immemorial, our families have been earning money by making idols of lord Durga, Ganesh and Vishwakarma. We also make earthen diyas during Diwali. Two decades ago, over 120 families were practising this art. Today, it has shrunk to just 60. Of them, very few families are solely dependent on this work as a profession,” said Narendra Behera, an artisan of Kumbharasahi.
The potters further informed that most of their business happens during the last two days of the festival. However, Basant Behera of Kumbharasahi pointed out that idol-making, as a business, is slowly fading away. Being a seasonal business, many youths of our families aren’t interested in getting into it full-time, as a result we do not have young artisans to learn the art,” he added.