Few takers for big Ganapati in Vijayawada

Idol trader Varalu selling Ganesh idols in Vijayawada on Tuesday
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Idol trader Varalu selling Ganesh idols in Vijayawada on Tuesday

Highlights

  • Traders are worried about at least recouping their investment and making some profits from their four- month labour
  • Falling income and government restrictions are said to prime reasons from lukewarm response from devotees towards purchase of big Ganesh idols

Vijayawada: Covid and government restrictions on mass celebrations of Vinayaka Chaviti have dampened the spirits of the traders of Lord Ganesh idols as they are worried about lukewarm response from the devotees/buyers on purchase of idols in Vijayawada city.

On the other hand, the devotees are also not in mood to celebrate the festival in a big way because of increasing cost of living and falling incomes.

Only three days are left for the Ganesh Chaturthi there are no buyers of the Ganesh idols in Vijayawada city. The festival will be celebrated on September 10. The traders are worried about getting back their investment and making some profits for their four- month hard work.

There are two prime reasons for lukewarm response from the devotees to buy the Ganesh idols: The first one is the falling income levels of people since the Covid broke out last year. Common people are already worried with dwindling income and increasing cost of living. Majority of people are not willing spend lavishly to celebrate the festivals. The second one is the government restrictions on celebrations. The State government has made it clear that mass gatherings should be avoided to celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi. This has huge impact on the devotees.

The traders usually make two types of idols. The big size idols have size from two feet to five feet. The small idols have height of half foot to two feet. The traders, who made big idols are worried most because it will be difficult to sell the idols, which costs between Rs3,000 to Rs7,000 depending the size, weight, design and colours.

Ippili Varalu, a trader and associated with making of idols for the last 20 years said that he spent Rs10 lakh on making over 200 idols this year. It takes three to four months to make the idols and he spent heavily on purchase of raw material, payments to workers, transportation and rents etc.

Now, Varalu is worried about his investment. "I am worried about my investment because there are no buyers till now and only three days are left for the festival, "he said.

He is selling idols near Ayodhya Nagar fruit market. Varalu is hopeful that sale of idols will pick up during the last two days. The festival will be celebrated on September 10 and immersion will start later.

He lamented that the government restrictions are dissuading the devotees to buy the big idols. He said Covid is main reason for drastic fall of idol sales since last year. If idols are not sold this season, it will be stored and sold the next year. Varalu said he has to wait one year to sell the idols and spend again on painting. The devotees do not like the idols made of earth/soil, he said.

The idols made of Plaster of Paris are strong and do not break even in transportation. Idols made of clay are environment-friendly but do not look beautiful compared to the idols made of Plaster of Paris. Consequently, the traders prefer to make idols with Plaster of Paris.

Another trader K Prasad said it will be easy to sell small idols compared to bigger ones because the small idols are very cheap. He said since the Covid broke out, he has been making only small idols and is able to sell easily in the short span of four or five days before the festival, he added.

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