In­put costs push up prices of Ganesh idols by 25%

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com An artis­tan makes a Ganesh idol at a work­shop.

More than 100 chil­dren from 13 schools from Kalyan and Dom­bivli took part in a work­shop to make eco-friendly Ganesh idols at Sai Hall in Kalyan on Sun­day.

With just over a cou­ple of weeks be­fore Ganeshot­sav fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin, devo­tees have to fur­ther loosen their purse strings as the prices of Ganesh idols have gone up by 20-25% this year ow­ing to the rise in in­put costs.

The workshops have also wit­nessed an in­creased de­mand for eco-friendly idols.

The rise in in­put costs — in­clud­ing colours, wages and mainly trans­port costs — has made idols costlier. The fes­tiv­i­ties will start from the first week of Septem­ber.

Artists are giv­ing fi­nal touches to idols, which range from 1 foot to 10 feet, in var­i­ous workshops across the city. Some of the ar­ti­sans pre­fer to build small idols while some are spe­cial­ized in mak­ing big idols up to 10-15 feet.

This year, too, the mar­ket is likely to be flooded with Gan­pati idols, and eco-friendly themes are likely to see brisk busi­ness, given the en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness among peo­ple.

“The min­i­mum rate of idols up to 2 feet starts from Rs800-900 and the rate goes up based on the size of the idol. Last year, I sold a 10-foot idol dec­o­rated with di­a­monds and gold ve­neer for Rs30,000,” said San­tosh Pawar, Koparkhairane-based ar­ti­san.

“We pre­pare theme-based idols de­pend­ing on cus­tomers’ de­mand. We start tak­ing or­ders for from June and sculpt idols as in­structed,” said Rakesh Gupta, an­other artist.

“Eco-friendly idols are in de­mand and we have al­ready pre­pared a few idols which are costlier than that of made from plas­ter of Paris,” said Gupta.

The idol mak­ers have rued a 25% hike in trans­port charges, which have had di­rect im­pact on var­i­ous in­put in­gre­di­ents.

On the pop­u­lar idols this time, Prashant Patil, an­other idol maker, said, “Since the mytho­log­i­cal TV se­ri­als are pop­u­lar these days, Ganesh idols in the form of those de­picted in them are much in de­mand. Of course, repli­cas of Lal­baugcha Raja con­tinue to rule.”

“Though prices of the idols have in­creased, the fer­vor amongst the devo­tees is such that it is not hav­ing any ef­fect on the or­ders we are re­ceiv­ing,” Patil said.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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