Idol makers of Jamshedpur get busy as festive rush nears

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Jamshedpur: With festive season just a few days away, the artistic hands in the city are busy round the clock giving final touches to the idols of Goddess Durga and host of other deities. This is the period they eagerly wait every year — when they get the opportunity to showcase their talent.

The artisans are busy decorating the idols in the best possible ways to be installed in the pandals where the public will come in large numbers to pay obeisance to the goddess.

Ganesh Kumar, an idol maker in Kadma for the last 45 years is creating idols in a traditional and skilled way.

Kumar explained, “The basic rule to be followed is that the soil to be used in idol making should come from a sacred water body. The clay artisans work hard for several months to create the wonderful idols and images of various gods and goddesses during the festive season. Bamboos are used to construct the basic frame which provides a skeleton character to the idol. Then the structure is made using straw and jute ropes and strings to keep it in place.”

 “We are finishing off our work and completing orders,” said veteran artisan Dhananjoy Kumar. His business is always at its peak at this time of the year. “I have made statues for nine temples in the district headquarters. I am charging Rs 25,000-to 40,000 for each idol. Though the cost of inputs is steep this year, I get my highest returns on this occasion,” he said. Like him over 100 idol-makers of the district are hopeful of raking in profits.

He said they now charge higher amount of money for idols since prices of materials, including soil, hay, yarn, jute, bamboo, nail and paints, have also increased over the last few years.

Love and respect from the devotees made them continue to be in the profession till today, they went on to say.

Several artisans from Kolkata who are busy making idols in the city said they were using mashed waste paper with natural clay and ‘multani mitti’ to make the idols.

“We are mixing clay with fig-tree juice, paper and glue for the material to make those. That is quite eco-friendly. The immersed idol dissolves in water in just 15 minutes,” said Sudipto Patra, an artisan making idols in Kadma.

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