As Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state by the coronavirus pandemic, Ganesh idol makers businesses are suffering due to inability of making sufficient Ganesh idols. “No worker wants to come here. Whenever they hear the name Mumbai, they are scared due to coronavirus. We are not sure how many idols we would be able to make,” said Sagar, an idol maker.
He added, “Every year, I make 1,200 idols and right now, 700 of those are ready. There will be a shortage of 500 idols. You would be seeing this shortage in Mumbai as well as in Maharashtra too.”
But that is not where the problem stops. He said that the government nor the municipal corporations to make the mandap to build the idols, stating that the government has asked the idol makers to build the idols at home.
“The government has asked us to make eco-friendly idols but it has not been able to give time to make them and nor it has given permission to make mandap to build the idols,” he explained.
“With the lockdown being in place, there has also been a shortage of raw materials as well. Most of the raw materials come from Gujarat and Kerala,” he said. Sagar stated that the thought of any kind of decoration is out of his mind as “people do not have the money”.
“Earlier people used to buy idols of almost 2.5 to 3 feet. No one is even thinking about putting up any decorations this year. There is a 100 per cent loss of business this year as we have not received any customers,” he further said.
Each year, Ganeshotsav is celebrated in a lavish manner in Mumbai, where lakhs of devotees visit the mandals to seek blessing from Lord Ganesha. Ganeshotsav, also called Ganesh Chaturthi, is a festival that starts on the fourth day of Hindu luni-solar calendar month Bhadrapada. It will fall in August.
However, the celebrations this time are likely to be subdued due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maharashtra has reported 2,00,064 cases so far, as per the Union Health Ministry.