The road at Samaspur Jagir near east Delhi's Pandav Nagar has been quite busy for the past few months. It is home to various artisans who have been preparing Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi that fell on Monday.
The festival has starting gaining popularity in Delhi as not only the Marathi community but people from diverse backgrounds and communities have begun celebrating Ganeshotsav with fervour. In fact, artisans say that nearly 50 per cent of their customers are non-Marathis and have been visiting them to book their Ganesh idols.
Amanjyot Kaur from Ghaziabad's Vaishali is celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi for the first time this year. "We had been trying to celebrate the festival for four years but didn't know where to get an idol of our choice. This year we made all the preparations beforehand."
Somyajit Sengupta from CR Park said such is the rush that this year that he was unable to purchase the idol on the spot. "Last time the demand for the idol was less," he said.
Yogesh Bansal, one of the owners of an idol-making workshop at Samaspur Jagir, agreed with him and said that the sale of the idols has gone up manifold. "Last year, we sold about 3,000 Ganesh idols. This year, we have sold over 4,000 statues to date and the sale will continue for the next four days," he said.
The largest idol at Yogesh's workshop is 12.5 feet high and costs around R40,000.
And after 5pm, the crowd at his workshop swelled significantly so much so that the artisans were unable to attend to all the customers. Moreover, tired of waiting, some customers decided to put final touches to the idols themselves.
One of them was Noida's Gurmeet Kaur, who will be celebrating the festival for the second time. "Our neighbours are Marathis and they celebrate this festival with great pomp. We thought even we should celebrate it. We will keep the idol for five days and then immerse it in Yamuna River," she said.
Fascinated by the festival, Class 10 student Naina Kashyap too dragged her parents to Samaspur Jagir. "I don't know about the puja but we can always look it up on the internet," she said.