PONDA: With less than a month left for Chavoth, traditional clay idol makers in Ponda Taluka are busy making Ganesh idols with a target to paint and finish their work well before the Ganesh Chaturthi festival which will be commence from August 31.
Clay idol artist Tulshidas Pandurang Naik at Amadi-Querim said that he works on the sculpture with dedication, akin to worship. “It gives great happiness and peace of mind in making idols of the Lord. I forget even to drink a cup of tea or food served to me whenever I’m involved in idol making,” he added.
Naik said that since he has retired after 33 years of service, he gets a lot of day time to dedicate to his work. “But even when I was in service I used to spend sleepless nights in making idols. I inherited this art from my father. This art is prevailing in our family since my forefathers,” he stated.
He makes around 80 idols and there is demand from surrounding villages including Querim.
Naik further said that the cost of idol making including clay, paint, etc has skyrocketed. He said idol makers are finding it difficult to get clay. He said “Earlier I used to bring it from Harvalem and later Madel but with no availability of clay I went to Mandrem and brought it. Artists face a lot of difficulty in getting clay required for idol making.”
He stated that if the Government really wants to help traditional idol makers then it should help them in getting clay mud. Similarly subsidy of Rs 100 for every idol should be provided two months before the festival, so that the artists can spend it on procurement of material required in idol making. “We never get this subisidy on time,” he exclaimed.
He further said “Since its tradition and an opportunity to serve God, I am happily doing this work. My family and children, and also one of my friends help me doing the work on idols. Dedication to idol making of God gives peace and happiness to mind, that's treasure for me. I am not bothered about profit or loss.”