Baripada, August 19 (LocalWire): Weekend shutdowns and curfews on week days has affected the economy of the idol makers in Mayurbhanj district.
While some idol makers are involved in seasonal agriculture, income of landless people who are completely dependent on idol-making has been significantly affected due to the poor demand for idols amidst COVID-19 lockdowns.
Idol makers generally earn a lot during the puja season, which begins with Ganesh Chaturthi and is followed by festivals like Vishwakarma puja, Durga puja, Kali puja and Laxmi puja.
A good number of stalls were set up in Baripada market last year, for which both idol makers and sellers earned a good profit.
“This year, the number of stalls as well as the number of idols kept in the stalls are very less, for which we are not expecting much profits,” said Bhakta Ram, a businessman.“I got an order for fifty to sixty idols of Lord Ganesh last year from educational institutions, clubs as well as individuals.
However, this year I have made only 22 idols of Lord Ganesh and 10 small sized idols of Goddess Mangala for Valkuni Usa,” said Subhankar Behera of Kalimandirsahi.
However, the idols which were being sold at Rs. 2000 to Rs. 2100 last year have to be sold at Rs. 1200 to Rs. 1300 this year, for which the profits have decreased, he said.
Besides this profession, he had set up a tiffin stall in front of his house to get some additional income, but the stall has been closed for the past six months due to the pandemic.
The economic conditions of other idol makers are just as bad as clubs, private institutions and and educational institutes have not been given permission to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi this year.