Shikhar, an idol maker from Bengaluru expresses concern over the lack of sales before Ganesh Chaturthi.
Shikhar, an idol maker from Bengaluru expresses concern over the lack of sales before Ganesh Chaturthi.

Bengaluru's idol makers concerned over lack of sales ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi

ANI | Updated: Jul 12, 2020 23:43 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], July 12 (ANI): With Ganesh Chaturthi around the corner, idol makers in Bengaluru say they are bracing to face huge losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to artisan Shikhar, they have has not yet received a single order for the upcoming festival. "We normally start getting orders around the end of June and beginning of July. So far we haven't received a single order," he said.
"This business is a year-long process. We take a month-long break right after the festival and start gearing up for the next year immediately. When we heard about the COVID-19 outbreak in January, we cut production by 50 per cent. However, we haven't received a single order yet, we might not even sell how much we've produced so far," he told ANI.
"No notification has come from the government regarding the sale of our products. We have taken huge loans from private companies to be able to start production. We don't know if we'll be able to pay it back in time," the idol maker said.
Jiten, a fourth-generation artisan engaged in the business of making idols expressed concerns about the 500 families who depend on the sale of these idols to sustain them throughout the year. "So many people have been affected by this pandemic. Nearly 500 families are dependent on the festival for their livelihood. Since we haven't received any kind of notification from the government, we don't know if we will be able to sell anything or not."
He added, "All kinds of idols are manufactured here, ranging from 3-4 inch to 7 feet procession idols. Since this year we will have to practice social distancing, I don't think the larger murtis will sell. We are slightly hopeful that at least the smaller idols will be bought."
According to Kiren, a wholesale seller of idols, 25,000 finished products might not be purchased. "We have so much riding on this festival. With only six weeks left we don't know if we'll be able to sell enough to manage all our expenses," he told ANI.
This year, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on August 22. (ANI)

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