The prices of idols have shot up by 30% over increasing cost of paints, clay, plaster of Paris and labour.
Artists who eke out their living for an entire year by selling idols ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi are spending sleepless nights due to poor market response.
Ahead of the festival, several makeshift shops come up in various parts of the city. Idols are priced between Rs 200 to Rs 10,000. Idol makers have stopped making more idols as they are unable to sell the current lot.
“No doubt, the cost of production has increased but I had no idea that spending will be so less,” said Ram Kumar, an artist who has worked tirelessly since Holi preparing idols.
Kumar also blames stiff competition from a growing number of artisans from other states camping in Jaipur for incurring loss.
Anirbhan Das, an idol maker who comes from Bihar every year to craft big Ganesh idols, has sold fewer pieces this time.
“This year work on bigger idols is less, which means less money to take home,” said Das, who has kept his fingers crossed for a last-minute big order.
Every year, pandals of varying sizes are built in various localities for Ganesh puja. Tent dealers said that while the number of orders has not reduced but the money spent on decoration has seen a drastic cut.
“I am unable to understand why organizers are reluctant to spend more on pandals this year,” said Ramesh Lohar, one of the labourers putting up a tent for a pandal at Raja Park.
The organizers said that the in terms of participation the festive spirit hasn’t dampened a bit but they have received fewer donations compared to previous year.
“Our annual donors, mostly jewellers and builders, have cited slowdown in their business for not being able to donate much this time. We are not compromising on the idol and security arrangement but have cut down on expenses on lighting and cultural performances,” said Manohar Lal, who manages pandal arrangements at five locations in the city.Share on Facebook