A gloomy 'Nabobarsho' for Bengal idol makers as cancellation rises

Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 08:00 IST | Agencies | Kolkata

Jaba Pal, a clay modeller told PTI, "I have got at least 50 phone calls from commercial establishments informing me that they won't buy Ganesha idol this year."

Representation pic/AFP
Representation pic/AFP

With a week to go for 'Bangla Nabobarsho' (Bengali New Year), the air is gloomy in Kumartuli, the potter's hub in the city, which is reeling under mounting losses due to cancellation of idol bookings triggered by lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic.

While hundreds of Basanti and Annapurna idols could not be delivered to households and clubs as the celebrations had to be cancelled at the last minute, thousands of small Ganesha idols, which are worshipped on Bengali New Year (April 14), also remain half-finished.

Jaba Pal, a clay modeller told PTI, "I have got at least 50 phone calls from commercial establishments informing me that they won't buy Ganesha idol this year." He said, "now if you take 10 more artisans like me in this area, the number of such cancellations will be 500 on an average."

Prodyot Pal, who also makes Durga idols for abroad, said, "this is going to be a dismal 'Poila Boisakh' for Kumartuli. While thousands of small Ganesha idols, made by artistes will remain unsold this year, we are also worried about the slump in sales for Durga puja idols work for which will start shortly afterwards." A big idol costs R2.5-3 lakh and a smaller one can be anywhere between R60,000 to R90,000 in Kumartuli.

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