Economic recession hits idol export business in West Bengal

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Kumartuli (West Bengal), July 16 (ANI): The global economic meltdown has now hit the business of idol makers in Kumartuli of West Bengal, as export orders from expatriate Indian belonging to the Bengali community has declined.

Kumartuli is the hub of clay idol makers of West Bengal.

Durga Puja, a festival of Hindu Goddess Durga, which begins from September 24, is the main religious festival of Bengali community. Every year Bengalis living overseas place orders months before the festival but this year the orders have declined.

"This year sales have declined. Some of the orders have been cancelled. Previous years we were receiving export orders of 40-42 idols but this year we have received orders only for 31-32 idols," said Babu Pal, secretary, Kumartuli Mritshilpa Sanskriti Samity, an association of idol makers.

Idol makers who mainly cater to overseas clients believe that this year could witness heavy losses.

Sambhunath Malakar, an idol maker said that he has just received two orders from abroad. He also said that he is finding it difficult to charge the prices he used to earlier.

"Our business has also been affected due to economic recession. We used to charge 5000-50,000 for an idol but this time we are loosing money," Malakar added.

These idols are exported to various countries including England, France, Germany and Spain. By Ajitha Menon (ANI)

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