Idol makers busy ahead of Durga Puja
As Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bangali Hindus, is approaching, idol makers in different districts of the country including Khulna and Rajshahi are passing busy time in making idols of deities.
The five-day festival will begin on October 22 and end on October 26 through the immersion of Durga in rivers.
KHULNA: This year Durga Puja will be held at 982 mandaps in the city and the district maintaining social distance and health guidelines set up by the government.
Artisans at different temples of the city and the district are giving final touches to the idols.
General Secretary of city unit Puja Udjapan Parishad Prashanta Kumar Kundu told The Daily Observer that 136 mandaps have been set up in the city while 846 in all nine upazilas of the district.
About 400 artisans are making idols in Khulna.
While visiting the largest Dharmasava Puja Mandap in the city, it was found that artisans are busy painting the idols of the deities.
Talking to The Daily Observer, an idol maker of Dharmasava Puja Mandap Ram Prasad said this year the pals are likely to earn more profit than last year.
He also said the cost of raw materials for making idols, including earth, rope, straw, bamboo and jute has increased, but their remuneration has not increased much in the last several years.
Organising Secretary of Dharmasava Puja Mandap Manash Kumar Ghosh said preparations for the Durga Puja have become costlier due to high price of raw materials and increased charges of idol makers, priests and drummers.
Khulna Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Masudur Bhuiyan said all kinds of security measures, uninterrupted electricity supply and traffic management would be ensured for peaceful celebration of the festival.
Khulna Police Super SM Shafiullah said security measures have been taken in each temple. One police team along with Ansar will be deployed at each temple during the puja.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Md Helal Hossain said disinfectant including hand wash and sanitisation and thermal scanner will be set up at all entry gates of the mandaps considering coronavirus pandemic.
He also said close circuit cameras and different entrance gates for men and women will be set up at each mandap.
The DC said puja committee has been asked to install fire fighting system at all mandaps. Besides, rally during immersion will be prohibited this time due to Covid-19, he added.
RAJSHAHI: The idol makers of the district are working round the clock to ensure that the idols are ready in time.
They are hoping for better earnings this year as the number of puja mandaps has increased in the region.
An idol maker Kartik Pal said, "I have been making idols for the last four months. Besides, four people including my wife are helping me. I have, so far, got 22 orders to make idols. I am taking order for making a small idol at Tk 22,000 to 30,000 and a large one at Tk 45,000 to 50,000."
He also said, "I am in this profession for the last 20 years. But, now I'm facing different problems including price hike of raw materials to make idol. About 20,000 atis of straw and many timbers are needed to make one idol. For buying these materials, I had to loan from various sources. If we get interest free loans, we can run the profession."
Police sources said they have undertaken elaborate security measures to make the celebration successful.
This year, 70 mandaps in Rajshahi City and 333 in the district have been prepared for celebrating the puja.