Jharsuguda :  Amid the crisis situation thrown by the coronavirus pandemic, several idol makers in Jharsuguda are staring at huge losses this year.

The livelihood of idol makers and artisans is under a threat as the festive season is about to start. Every year, they start receiving huge orders for Ganesh idols months before Ganesh Chaturthi. But, this year, the scenes are unlike the past now and the festivities are to commence on August 22.

Accustomed to receiving several bookings during June itself from organisers of Ganesh Pandals across the city, suburbs, and even from other districts, idol makers say they hardly received any orders this year so far.

“We have been into this business since generations, I have been making this since my childhood, Due to COVID19, Our main business season is during this period when we make idols of various god and goddess-like Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishwakarma and Maa Durga. However, our main focus is on Ganesh Chaturthi. Every year we get lots of order from nearby areas but due to COVID19 and lockdown, we are now forced to focus on Small idols aiming for the people who want to worship in their home.

This year I haven’t got any single order for a Big size idol except one from a customer of Sundargarh who wants to do puja in his home. We have a focus on small idols, our hope is less but as we are idol makers by profession so we have made it just to keep our tradition alive.

We had already ordered raw materials before lockdown, earlier we use to make around 300pcs Ganesh idols but now this year we have made only 40 to 50 pcs idol only. We don’t have much expectation.” says Anirudh Prajapati, an idol maker of Jharsuguda

Many sculptors in the town still haven’t started making idols due to the lack of a workforce. Others who have begun work are scaling down the size of idols

Pandal organisers too are unsure of how the impact of the coronavirus would be in August and not sure about organising the festivities like before.