PONDA: With the Ganesh Chaturthi festival fast approaching, the traditional clay idol makers in Ponda Taluka are busy making Ganesh idols targeting to finish it well before Ganesh Chaturthi, which will be held on 31 August.
Clay idol artist Tulshidas Pandurang Naik at Amadi -Querim said, “since it’s tradition and opportunity to serve God, I am happily doing this work. My family and children, besides one of my friends, help me do the work on idols.”
He says that dedication to idol-making of God gives peace and happiness to the mind.
He works on sculpture with dedication; it’s like worship. “It gives great happiness and peace of mind in making idols of the Lord. I even forget to drink a cup of tea or food served to me whenever involved in idol making,” he says.
Tulsidas Naik said now he retired from his 33 years of service and gets a lot of daytime for my work.
“But even when I was in service, I spent sleepless nights making idols. I inherited this art from my father. This art is prevailing in our family since our forefathers,” he stated.
He said he makes around 80 idols, and there is demand from surrounding villages, including Querim.
Today, Tulsidas said that the cost of idol making, including mud, paintings, etc., is skyrocketing.
He said idol makers are finding it difficult to get clay mud.
“Earlier I used to bring it from Harvalem and later Madel, but with no availability of clay, I went Mandrem and brought it. The artist faces difficulty in getting the clay mud required for the idol.
He said that if the government really wants to help traditional idol makers, then it should support us by helping us get clay mud.
Similarly, a subsidy of Rs 100 for every idol should be spent two months before the festival on the procurement of materials required in idol making.
“We never get this subsidy on time,” said Naik.