Price rise affects sale of idols of goddess Saraswati in Daltonganj

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Price rise affects sale of idols of goddess Saraswati in Daltonganj

Thursday, 26 January 2023 | M F AHMAD | DALTONGANJ


Festivals bear the brunt of the price rise. The Saraswati Puja is one such festival which faces the jolt of the market. The ups and downs of the market has left a scar on the mood of festival. 

Goddess Saraswati idols are pretty costlier following rising cost of the timber, clay and straw this season in Daltonganj. Their prices are different from what they used to be last year. 


The minimum cost of the idol is 500 rupees which used to be around 350 or 400 rupees till last year and even school students could have easily bought the idol. Larger size idols today cost around 7,000 rupees or so. 


Timber is very important for any idol as it provides the frame for it. It is used for the Veena of the goddess which is very   important in the worship of this goddess. The timber for the flute has to be of good quality timber. And it is costly now. 


A well known idol maker Shyam Prajapati  of Daltonganj near the Durga Mandap on the main road here said timber has become very costly. It is now 10 rupees a kilogram which last year was only 6 rupees a kg. The jump of 4 rupees a kg is too taxing, he said. 


He said the use of timber in idol making depends on the size of the idol. That is,the bigger the size of the idol, the more   of the timber will be needed. It spirals the cost of the idols. 


Sources said the rise in the cost of timber by Kg is because women beneficiaries of the PM Ujjawala Yojna have shelved down their LPG cylinders which is 1,110 rupees per cylinder in Daltonganj  and now these women users buy timber by Kgs to run their earthen hearth as they can't afford to buy the cylinders for their kitchen. 


People have become so conscious about clay that they do not want their field to be dug up for it, said the idol maker Shyam. Everywhere it is now the environment that is talked about, he said. 


The cost of the clay is too high like 1,500 to 2,000 rupees per tractor load of it as it used to be available within 1,000 rupees till a year ago. 


As there has been very little cultivation and harvesting of the paddy due to rain deficit  here in Palamu, straw or hay has become not only costlier but scarce too. Straw has become very costly and for idol-making straw is a must. 


Durga Johri, a senior BJP leader here in Palamu said "The state government must do this for these artisans. The pottery trade is facing acute challenges and crisis.The artisans face numerous problems right from timber down to straw all have become costlier."


Johri said "Our town Daltonganj has some few noticeable  idol makers. Idol making is their only livelihood. They have no other work to lean upon. The rising cost of the materials has badly affected their trade which is festival based like Saraswati Puja, Durga Puja, Diwali etc"


There was a Mati Kala Board having an IAS as its managing director during the time Raghubar Das was the chief minister here  but in this government of Hemant Soren this Mati Kala Board is almost defunct to which Johri said "It proves the potter community does not matter to this Hemant Soren government as otherwise this Mati Kala Board ought to have been a functional unit." 


The BJP leader urged the government to start new ventures to promote and sustain pottery all over the state on the pattern of jute craft or woodcraft. End 


BJP leader Durga Johri taking note of the ready to take home idols of the goddess Saraswati in Daltonganj for the Saraswati Puja on January 26.

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