With the ban on public celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi, the doll makers of Vilacheri have reduced the size of the idols this year and appealed to the district authorities to allow them to sell five days before the festival, that falls on September 10.
M. Ramalingam, who has been in the business for more than four decades told The Hindu, since there is a government proposal to restrain people from installing life size idols of Ganesha in public mandaps, he has moulded statues only to a height of three inches to three feet.
In the pre-pandemic years, he and another 100-odd families would be engaged in making life-size statues of Ganesha during the festive season. “They would be lifted from our workshop by the devotees; families would also come by to pick up idols for their homes. But the footfalls have not yet begun so far, only few consignments of bulk orders have moved,” he said, ruing about more than 60 per cent loss he suffered during last Vinayagar Chaturthi.
Another potter’s family nextdoor on Velar Street is equally worried. “We still have last year’s stock but are making new ones too in the hope people will buy for puja at home,” said Saravana Raja.
The doll makers want the district administration to facilitate sales at few strategic locations such as uzhavar sandhais, West Masi and East Masi Streets, Munichalai and P and T Nagar.
“For the fear of the pandemic, people are perhaps scared to come here for purchase. We should be allowed to set up our stalls in a few areas to make it easy for the public,” said Ramalingam.
Source: Read Full Article