Low business for idol makers as demand drops due to pandemic
Previously, preparations for festivals such Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja would be in full swing, but this year, Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to the business of idol makersUpdated: Aug 04, 2020 13:50 IST
Ganesh Chaturthi (August 22) is just around the corner and many idol makers are unfortunately grappling with low demand this time of year due to the pandemic.
Neelima Bhagwat, who displays her stalls in various parts of Delhi, says, “I am getting few orders but the demand is low as compared to previous years. Usually, this is a very busy period for us because of upcoming festivals. This year mostly customers are first calling us and then coming to pick their orders otherwise till last year people were rushing into shops till the last days.”
She further adds that there has been a drop in demand for big idols. “Mostly, puja pandals would order for bigger idols that would be customised but they have also opted for smaller ones this year,’’ she says.
Many have not even stocked any idols this year and are taking up only orders for customisation. Kalu, a Delhi based idol maker, who has been making idols for the past 17 years, has not displayed his stall this year, as he cannot see any demand coming in.
“Every year, we sell idols near Akshardham but this year I have not kept any idols ready as I cannot see any demand at all. If someone calls us to place an order for 12-15 idols, then we might make it on an urgent basis. The reason is that the mud used to make these idols comes from Kolkata and we have to first invest a good amount of money from our own pockets, which is currently a difficult thing to do,” he says.
Lack of clarity on the expected demand is adding to the woes of idol makers as they aren’t sure if they should go ahead and stock up or just make idols on per demand basis.
“Till this time, we usually get an idea about the demand in the market but right now everything is very unclear. We used to have 15 people to make orders and now it has been reduced to just five as we are not getting many orders from any of the cities,” says Nitesh Bharadwaj, a Jaipur based Idol maker, who supplies in many metropolitan cities including Delhi.