Kendrapara, October 7 (Local Wire) Idol makers in the coastal district of Kendrapara and nearby areas are giving their best to prepare various sizes of earthen idols in the run-up to the preparation for Durga Puja and Gajalaxmi Puja.
Nobody is as busy as an idol-maker of Kumbharasahi outskirts of Kendrapara town, working to meet demand, said Ramesh Behera, aged 42, an expert with two-decade long experience
“All my family members are involved in this art of making idols,” said Ramesh Behera, aged 42, an idol maker with nearly two decades of experience in the craft.
“As the Puja approaches, idol makers here entered a busy season,” said Ranjit, aged 15, son of Ramersh while helping his father to make an idol.
Around 65 families have been busy applying the finishing touches to their works in Kumbharasahi, an idol-making hub of the district.
“Since time immemorial, our family members have been making clay images of deities to earn money during the Durga Puja and other festivals,” said Satrughan Behera (67) an artisan of Kumbharasahi.
He said two decades ago over 100 families were engaged with the craft of idol making but the number of families shrank to around 65.
“It is difficult to carry big idols to the puja pandals faraway from our village for which many artisans are now busy by making idols at the puja pandal,” said Narahari Behera (45) another artisan.
“I have already received orders from ten Puja committees to supply idols for which all the members of my family are engaged in one way or other in making idols,” said Basanta Behera, an artisan.
He also said four Puja committees placed demand for eco- friendly idols.
This year, artists are making pollution free clay images of Ma Durga and other images by using non-toxic colors to paint the idols for them.
Every year artisans of these areas burn the midnight oil to meet the demand of clay idols in Puja season.
“We have placed an order for ecofriendly Ma Durga and other images for our Puja,” said Madhaba Das, the president of Ma Durga puja committee at Nikirei
Making clay idols is a seasonal business for which a large number of youths of our families nowadays are not preferring to continue theirforefather’s works, as a result, we are not getting young artisans to teach them idol making arts, said Basant Behera, a senior craftsman.