For the 1,50,000 families gearing up to host the Lord in their homes this year, the tussle between devotion and inflation is a troublesome one. The price of decorative pedestals for the lord made of thermocol has gone up as by almost 40 per cent this year, forcing families to tone down the celebrations a notch.
The 40 per cent hike is an unprecedented one. Last year, the rates had increased by 25 per cent, and the hike in 2010 was by just 5 per cent.
The economical choice for households this year is the eco-friendly paper throne, which costs between Rs 1,000 and Rs1,500 for idols about two-feet high. Variety is limited in this category.
The thermocol thrones, on the other hand, are available in a diverse range of designs. Manufacturers attributed their steep prices to rise in raw material prices.
Families are thus left with no option but to settle for the ones made of paper, which are more suited to their straitened purse strings.
Umang Vora, who makes thermocol thrones, said, “The prices this year have gone up considerably as compared to last year because the rates of raw materials and petrol have increased. The thrones that were being sold for Rs 2,000 last year is being sold for Rs 2,800 this year. Those with intricate designs are being sold for Rs 3,000-3,200.”
Shyam Shendkar, a resident of Lalbaug, said, “It has become impossible for us to celebrate the festival with the same zest as we would earlier, decorating the lord’s throne beautifully. All my plans for Ganpati have been upset.”
Aarti Kamath, who keeps Ganpati in her Parel home for five days, said, “We are tired of the increasing prices, we had bought a throne for Rs1,000 two years back, and when we went to buy a new one this year we realised that the prices were almost double. We had to settle for a flimsy paper throne as that is the only one that was available for Rs 1,000, which is our budget.”