Nagpur: With Ganesh Chaturthi around the corner, idol makers in Nagpur say they are facing huge losses due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An artisan, Rahul Brhmoshivans, said his business has gone down to a fourth of its original volume. “We are not getting enough orders. Till this time of the year, we used to get at least 50-60 orders, which has shrunk to 15-20 now. Our business is doomed for the year. Also, we weren’t provided materials on time, and when we got the material, it was more costly. There are problems in transportation also because of the lockdown in various places, so our orders are getting delayed,” he told ANI
Brhmoshivans said a government notification puts restrictions on placing idols in containment zones. It has reduced the idol height to a maximum of four feet. “Because of the government’s guideline, the Mandals which used to order eight-feet idols for processions are asking for four-feet ones. Also people who used to buy four-feet idols to set up at home are asking for one- or two-feet ones,” he said.
Another artisan Ashok Vishvakarma said, “The pandemic has hit us hard. We don’t know what we can do. We don’t have money to buy enough food let alone material for making idols. It is becoming hard to pay labourers.”
Vishvakarma said he used to employ at least 12 to 13 labourers earlier. But this year he couldn’t employ even one because of the cash crunch.
This year, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on August 22.