Banarpal: Ahead of the festive season, clay idol makers in Angul district had made hundreds of various idols of gods and goddesses. Now, they live in apprehensions between the devil and deep sea as their idols will be left to a period of weak demand during the times of the pandemic.
There are over 300 idol makers belonging to Talamula, Mahidharpur, Kaniha, Phulupada, Kandasar and Turanga areas under Banarpal block in the district. They make idols of Khudurukuni, Ganesh, Biswakarma, Durga, Lakshmi, Kali, Kartikeswar and Saraswati during the festive season. Usually, they meet their household expenses throughout a year, from whatever they earn during the festive season.
Amid shutdown restrictions, the clay idol makers pass through tough times and their fiscal standings have been staggered badly over past four months. Local puja committees give no advance for making idols any longer. Chances of pujas being celebrated in future are bleak.
“If such situations persist in the days ahead, we may not be able to provide a square meal a day to our family members. Our occupation is seasonal; hence, it would become too difficult for us to survive in future”, some idol makers of Banarpal block namely Antaryami Muduli, Dambarudhar Muduli and Kailash Muduli lamented.