It’s hardly three weeks to go for the 10-day Ganesh festival to begin, idol makers in the city are struggling to get demands for the second consecutive year. While the material cost for idol making has increased by around 10 to 20 percent, the poor demand has put the idol makers in a fix.
Many of them have stopped making fresh idols as there are hardly buyers for the old inventory of idols.
This is the second consecutive year when they are facing the problem of demand from both Ganpati Mandals and from the households.
Many have stopped making fresh idols as there are hardly buyers for the old inventory of idols. | FPJ Photo
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government issued fresh guidelines to ensure that the celebration of the festival should be a low-key affair. As per the guidelines, the height of the Ganpati idol at Mandal should not exceed 4 feet and those celebrating at home should not keep more than 2 feet height idol.
In addition, there are restrictions on the number of visitors at a time inside the Ganpati Mandal and during immersion. With all these factors, the demand for idols has dropped sharply for the second consecutive year.
The height of the Ganpati idol at Mandal should not exceed 4 feet and those celebrating at home should not keep more than 2 feet height idol. | FPJ Photo
Abhijit Sathe, an idol maker who set up an idol shop at sector 11 in Belapur says that he has brought hardly 150 idols while he used to bring 400 to 500 idols. “Last year, I did not get a good response due to COVID 19 restrictions. I had to take back around 200 idols to my home in Pen taluka,” said Sathe. He added that there are few people turning up at his shops even for inquiry.
Similarly, Ramesh Deodhar, another idol maker at Ulwe in the newly developed node says that due to the rise in material costs like colour and decorative items, there is around 10 to 20 percent rise in idol costs.
“The smallest one feet idols that we used to sell at Rs 500 is now available at Rs 700 per piece. The increase in idol price is also pushing back buyers,” said Deodhar, adding that they have no option as sales increases, there is very low scope to bring down the price of idols.
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