Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], July 3 (ANI): An idol maker from Kolkata's Kumartuli sent a fiberglass idol of Goddess Durga to Germany and New Jersey becoming the first artisan in the region to send his artwork overseas amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mintu Pal, popular clay modeller, spoke to ANI and said that every year Durga idol of fiberglass is sent abroad from Kumartuli of Kolkata, ahead of the annual Durga Puja festival. "This year also I have got two orders: one went to New Jersey and one is ready to go to Berlin, Germany," he said.
The cost of the idol is over Rs 1.5 lakh, said the clay modeller.
"This idol is made completely of fiber glass. It will be transported from India to Germany via ship and it will take about 2 months to reach," Pal said. He further informed that the orders for these idols were received in January and it took two months to make it.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the artist said that fewer orders were received. "This year, there were orders for small idols instead of bigger ones," said Pal.
Every year, the artist claims to send 6-8 Durga idols abroad. "Last year also I have sent five Durga idols to foreign countries during the pandemic. My idols have gone to Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA, France, Beijing so far," he said.
Months ahead of the festival, there seems to lack of enthusiasm among people, he believes.
"The people of the Puja Committee are not excited in view of the current situation of the pandemic across the conutry, but there is enthusiasm in foreign countries. We are hoping that the situation will improve at least after sometime, as the Puja is still months away," Pal said.
Nilam Pal, another clay modeller said that they have barely received any order as people are not stepping out due to the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We have taken a risk and made 15-16 idols in advance in case someone shows up," he said.
This year, Durga Puja will commence on October 11 and extend till October 15.
In this area of Kolkata called Kumartuli, there is usually a bustling atmosphere months before Durga Puja. People flock to buy idols at the market. However, this time around, the city looks dull. Dozens of idols were seen with incomplete work. Some have even been left mid-way. (ANI)