Free Press Journal

Bhopal: Ganesha clay idol makers fail to meet rising demand


The demand for clay idols of Lord Ganesha may have increased after the ban on plaster of Paris in the city, but the sale has not gone up. The reasons are – making of clay idols takes time, and it requires a large number of workers so the idol makers are not able to meet the requirements. Besides, the market has become highly competitive due to rise in number of idol-making workshops.

Besides hike in prices of raw materials including clay, colours and items for dolling up the idols have also increased but there is no corresponding rise in the prices of idol.  People are not ready to buy the idols on raised prices and so they are being sold on the price which were prevailing last season. This has led to decline their earnings. Since the sale has not increased, they are not earning enough profits.

Idol maker and owner of Sushila Bala Shilp Kala, Saket Nagar, Anup Dey told Free Press, “No doubt, the demand of clay idols has increased. It has just doubled. If we earlier use get 10 orders, now it is 20. But what should we do? We have limited hands. Also, the market has become highly competitive so we have to compromise with rates. Also, it is our passion and way of livelihood.”

He said that earlier, his average expenditure was Rs18 lakh and now it has gone to 21 lakh. But the profit generated is not enough.”  Dey who has been making clay idols for more than 25 years further said, “This year, we have made 160 pieces of Lord Ganesha idols in ranging from 1ft -12ft and price starting from Rs 3000- 35000. Out of these, we have made four idol of Lalbaug Ke Raja. Its height is 12ft and price is priced Rs 30000- 35000. We have also made ‘Vrindavan Ganesha’ and ‘Shiv Darbar’.

He said that the idol is made of three types of soil including local soil, black and sand soil which he fetches from Ujjain, Vidisha and Mandideep, Diamond Hawraha, Kolkata.“Besides soil, we also fetch natural colour and dresses and decorative materials from Kolkata. In fact, our workers are also come from the state. Our idols has been sent across the state including Ashok Nagar, Bina, Sehore, Indore, Ujjain, Vidisha, Jabalpur, Hoshangabad, Mandideep and different places of Bhopal. Four months back we started idol making work. ” Dey added.

Similarly, 40-year-old idol maker Rajkumar Prajapati who represents second generation said, “We never made POP idols. It is true that the demand of clay idols of lord Ganesha especially of big size has increased but we have limited workers so we don’t take more orders. We started making idols two months back. Now, finishing work of idols is left.”

“We have made 20 idols of Lord Ganesh in different forms like Dagru Seth, Lalbaug, Bhole Tandav Ganesha of size from 4ft. to 15ft. Its price range is Rs 5000 to 35,000.  The price of 15 ft of Dabru Seth is Rs 35,000. The price of raw materials has increased but our profit is not increased as much it should be,” Prajapati added. Idol maker Prerna Sharma who has been making small idols of Lord Ganesha for 10 years, said, “The price of raw materials like clay, colour and decorative has increased with the time but customers still demand same price as they used to purchase earlier. Its production cost is hiked 3% to 4%. We have made 100 small idols in Marathi using Sadu clay that fetch from Maharashtra.”