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Jamshedpur: With festive season just days away, the artistic hands in the city are busy round the clock giving final touches to the idols of God Vishwakarma and Ganesh. This is the period they eagerly wait every year — when they get the opportunity to showcase their talent.

The artisans are busy decorating the idols in the best possible ways to be installed in the pandals where the public will come in large numbers to pay obeisance to the goddess.

The festival fetched the sculptors a good scope to earn livelihood after passing a remarkable period of idle time round the year.

Most of such artistes usually witness a dull time and live in economic hardship despite the fact that they had the art of making idol of goddess cherished over generations with a great passion.

They get some works only ahead of large festivals like Ganesh Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja. The number of orders for making idols is increasing gradually. Yet, it would be difficult for many to run families with what they would earn from their work.

City-based famous artist Durga Mahato of Mahato Para Road Jugsalai has spent half his life in creating some of the best idols. But, he is little disappointed with the present way of celebrations.

Every year, idol makers give birth to thousands of idols of God and Goddesses. With the festivals approaching, ‘Vishwakarma Puja’ on September 17, followed by ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ and ‘Durga Puja’, the idol makers are working day and night to make the most out of this time.

Ganesh Kumar, an idol maker in Kadma for the last 45 years is creating idols in a traditional and skilled way.
Kumar explained, “The basic rule to be followed is that the soil to be used in idol making should come from a sacred water body.

The clay artisans work hard for several months to create the wonderful idols and images of various gods and goddesses during the festive season. Bamboos are used to construct the basic frame which provides a skeleton character to the idol. Then the structure is made using straw and jute ropes and strings to keep it in place.”

He further added “These artisans are grouped for different functions because the creation of idol by a single artist would become an extremely tiring and lengthy exercise. So, some of them get engaged in making the skeleton from bamboo and straw while other group prepares clay and applies it.

The most skilled of workers make the head, palms and feet of the idol. The application of clay is done in three steps.” Idol makers in the city get busy giving the final touch to the idols with a lot of enthusiasm when the festive nears.

“We are finishing off our work and completing orders,” said veteran artisan Dhananjoy Kumar. His business is always at its peak at this time of the year. “I have made statues for nine temples in the district headquarters.

I am charging Rs 25,000-to 40,000 for each idol. Though the cost of inputs is steep this year, I get my highest returns on this occasion,” he said. Like him over 100 idol-makers of the district are hopeful of raking in profits.