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Idol making a thriving business

S. Harpal Singh
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MakiNG a living:Rajasthani artisans begin work by dusting the left over Ganesh idols from last year in Kagaznagar.— PHOTO: Special Arrangement
MakiNG a living:Rajasthani artisans begin work by dusting the left over Ganesh idols from last year in Kagaznagar.— PHOTO: Special Arrangement

Proliferation of community celebrations of the Ganesh festival in Telangana region has turned idol-making into a highly profitable activity, albeit seasonal.

Hundreds of artisans from distant Rajasthan have arrived in the North Telanagna districts, over two months in advance of the festival, to churn out plaster of paris idols by the hundreds.

Some 50 artisan families comprising of about 350 members have set up makeshift workshops at Adilabad, Nirmal, Bhainsa, Mancherial and Kagaznagar in Adilabad district from where they will supply idols even to remote places.

The business turnover at each of the centres is likely to be in the range of Rs.10 to Rs.15 lakh this season, slightly up from that in the last season.

Bherulal Rathod from Rajsamund, in the 16th year of his sojourn in Adilabad, says the trend of community celebration has percolated even to the most interior corners of the district. “This has created good potential to earn a livelihood for poor artisans like us,” says the veteran.

Rathod Indra, another Rajasthani artisan from Jalore district, currently based at the outskirts of Kagaznagar town, says devotees in Telangana have decentralised festivities. “Every by-lane now has a group of devotees organising festivities instead of a broader unit at village-level doing that just about five years back,” he says.

Over the years, idol making has evolved resembling any other economic activity. The links between various players like the PoP and paint suppliers from Rajasthan has been established making things a bit easier for the artisans.

The seasonal earnings have also enabled many a poor Rajasthani artisan family to settle down. They purchase agricultural land and get their children educated.

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