Kolkata's renowned idol-making hub Kumartuli badly hit due to lockdown

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], May 15 (ANI): Kolkata's renowned idol-making hub, Kumartuli, has been badly hit due to the lockdown, affecting thousands of idol makers.

Idol-making has come to a halt and those involved in the business are staring at huge losses this year.

"The lockdown has impacted our business adversely. Labourers have gone to their villages. Usually at this time, we used to be busy making idols, but now we are not being able to get even raw material. The work has stopped completely," Subol pal, a sculpture artist told ANI.

"Nobody is helping us. There are no guidelines regarding our business. Our families are dependent on this, we do not have any other means of livelihood. I request the government to help us," he added.

Joydeep Mukherjee, a businessman who is involved in creating awareness about Durga puja globally since several years, said that idol-making business is crawling under financial losses.

"We are the worst hit due to the lockdown. We are involved in the business of sending idols abroad for Durga Puja. We had got the order confirmation from abroad, but due to the lockdown, it has come to a halt. We were supposed to ship idols for the US, UK, UAE, Australia, Germany and other foreign countries by this time, but there is no time left for idol shipment now, as the shipment usually takes three months to reach the destination. So the orders have been put on hold," said Mukherjee.

"There are over 500 puja organisations abroad and around 20 per cent of them intent to change their Goddess Durga idol in a span two to three years, but this year it has come to a halt. They will be worshipping the same idols they kept earlier," he added. (ANI)