Preparations are in full swing in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Different types of idols of Lord Ganesha are being sold in various markets of Kanpur. But this time, the big idols have disappeared from the markets. The sculptors said that due to financial constraints they were forced to prepare small idols. Some of them have prepared idols by taking loans and mortgaging their jewelleries. Last year, they could do very little business due to Covid-19 restrictions, and this year, they again fear that the sales of idols will remain low.
Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on September 10 across the country. This 11-day festival will end on September 21. On the first day of the festival, people bring the idol of Lord Ganesha to their house and worship him.
Sculptor Atal said the small idols are easy to sell. “We are preparing only small idols as we are facing a shortage of money. We can make many small idols from the materials needed to make one big idol. The price of small idols is very less compared to big ones and hence they are easily being sold in the market,” he said.
“Last year, we made idols up to 12 feet. But due to lockdown restrictions, the big idols could not be sold. This year, we do not want to take risks,” he added.
Atal said that the raw materials for making idols have also become more expensive than before. “The prices of plaster of Paris (POP) and paint have increased. Earlier, a sack of POP was available for Rs 100 but now it is being sold for Rs 150. At the same time, a bucket of paint available for Rs 500 last year is being available for Rs 700-800 now,” he said.
Another sculptor Jackie said that he has mortgaged his wife’s jewellery for purchasing raw materials to make idols. “Now, the future of our lives depends on the business this year. If the business remains sluggish this time too, then we will be in a bad state,” he said.