Wax artisans in Tripura strive hard to save their sculpting passion

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Nandannagar (Tripura), Sept 26 : The wax artisans in Tripura, carving beautiful wax idols for the annual five-day long Durga festival, are facing a tough time to find adequate funds to keep their wax-carving profession alive.

Almost fifteen artisans at Nandannagar have been burning their midnight oil for the last one and a half months to meet the demand for idols.

Around 500 kilogram of paraffin wax is required for making of the images and the estimated total cost would be approximately 150 thousand rupees.

Earlier, the idols were made only of clay, but now these are made from various materials like clay, bamboo, Plaster of Paris to chocolates and cutlery. Though each idol has it's own charm, the charisma of the wax idol is unbeatable.

Even the artisans are mesmerized by the charm of the wax idols.

"I have been doing this for past four to five years. Earlier, I used to make artifacts out of bamboo, then I made art pieces out of thermocol. Now, I am making wax idols. I like it but I don't earn much," said Satta Ranjan Dey, an artisan.

The business of wax idol making has not been lucrative and the artisans hope for government's help to keep the art alive.

"We don't get financial aid like the other artisans because of which our work suffers. In the near future, we can show our proficiency only if the government or public gives us a chance," said Subodh Roy, an artisan.

Durga is portrayed as the goddess with prowess to kill the evil. It is believed that the Goddess makes a visit to earth every year and the festivities are meant to welcome her.

The festival provides an opportunity to the artisans to add their own dash of style to the idols and win the admiration of the viewers. By Pinaki Das

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