Women artists from Gu­jarat dec­o­rate idols

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com Women from Gu­jarat dec­o­rate idols at Juina­gar.

To en­sure that Ganesh devo­tees have a safe jour­ney back home in the Konkan re­gion, the state high­way po­lice have req­ui­si­tioned ad­di­tional forces from other re­gions.

The of­fi­cers left for their des­ig­nated places on Wed­nes­day, with the ban­dobast com­ing in force from Thurs­day.

Palaspe con­trol room of the high­way po­lice at Pan­vel has said that spe­cial pre­cau­tions are be­ing taken to pre­vent traf­fic snarls and ac­ci­dents dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

On duty are one su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice, two deputy su­per­in­ten­dents, seven in­spec­tors, 44 as­sis­tant po­lice in­spec­tors and 611 po­lice per­son­nel .

The im­por­tant ar­eas to be un­der the beat are Kharpada bridge, Ramwadi, Wad­khal, Wakan, Kashedi, Khed, Chiplun, Hathkhamba, Kankavli and Goa bor­der. Ganeshot­sav is the big­gest fes­ti­val in the Konkan re­gion. Al­most six lakh res­i­dents head to their vil­lages dur­ing this fes­ti­val.

The traf­fic depart­ment takes mea­sures to en­sure that the devo­tees reach their homes in time.

The high­way po­lice have their ju­ris­dic­tion from Kharpada to Goa state bor­der. Sev­eral ve­hi­cles travel on the Goa high­way two days be­fore the fes­tiv­i­ties start. It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the high­way po­lice to en­sure that the traf­fic norms are not vi­o­lated.

Ad­di­tional forces have been brought in from other ar­eas for the Mum­bai-Goa high­way— Pune, Nag­pur, and Nasik.

The forces re­ported at the Palaspe con­trol room on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day. They were then al­lo­cated ar­eas for ban­dobast duty. Su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice Sa­mad­han Pawar ad­dressed and guided the per­son­nel on the du­ties to be per­formed by them.

The ban­dobast that started on Thurs­day will be in force till Septem­ber 16.

“Around 550 per­son­nel have been sourced from out­side the dis­trict. They have been de­ployed on the high­way un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice,” said Arun Awhad, of­fi­cer in charge of Palaspe Cen­tre. “We will com­mit our­selves to en­sure that the devo­tees have a safe jour­ney.” Gan­pati idols kept at Pi­ta­m­bar Art in Juina­gar on Thurs­day.

A group of seven women from Kheda dis­trict in Gu­jarat have come to Juina­gar to dec­o­rate Gan­pati idols with jew­ellery. They have dec­o­rated over seventy idols of dif­fer­ent sizes over the past two weeks.

Al­though the jew­ellery they use is made of glass, when adorned on the idol it daz­zles like a di­a­mond.

Thus, their art is known as ‘di­a­mond work’ in the idol mak­ing busi­ness. Presently, they are work­ing hard on their idols for the up­com­ing fes­ti­val in Pi­ta­m­bar Arts As­so­ci­a­tion at sec­tor 24.

The group’s work starts only af­ter the paint­ing of an idol is done. They dec­o­rate the painted idols from the crown of gan­pati to his toes.

“One artist takes around three days to do the di­a­mond work on a five feet tall idol. If a five feet tall idol dec­o­rated with pa­per jew­ellery is sold for Rs 3,000, its price goes up by Rs 2,500-3,000 af­ter the di­a­mond work. Once we are done with the de­sign­ing, the man­dals and in­di­vid­u­als col­lect their idols,” Jy­oti Solankhi, one of the artists.

“This year we started our work late as we did not get per­mis­sion to oc­cupy this place from NMMC on time. Hence we were un­able to take as many or­ders as we took in the pre­vi­ous years. Ours is a fam­ily busi­ness; the work­shop is run by our cousin and hence we don’t charge for in­di­vid­ual idols,” she said.

Tanuja So­nankhi, an­other artist said, “We get all our jew­ellery from Su­rat. For dec­o­rat­ing the big­ger idols three to four women work to­gether. This year, the idols we have dec­o­rated are one to four­teen feet tall.”

Amit Salunkhe, who runs the work­shop, told Hin­dus­tan Times that this year the Ra­jan and the Sairat themes are in de­mand. They have made around 600 idols this time. Apart from places in Navi Mum­bai, man­dals from Chem­bur and Bhandup have also placed or­ders with them.

“This year we have sent two idols to USA and one to Nige­ria. Of the 600 idols, around 150 were made of clay. The re­main­ing idols were made of plas­ter of paris (PoP). The de­mand for ecofriendly idols has in­creased over the past three years,” he said.

“Di­a­mond work is our USP. Be­cause of this art, many peo­ple come to us from far off places,” he added.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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