W. Bengal idol-makers are hit by recession in exports

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Kolkata, July 30 (ANI): Idol makers in West Bengal state are still feeling the recession, as the orders for idols of goddess Durga from abroad have drastically fallen for the second year in a row after 2008.urga Puja, which begins from October 13 this year, is the biggest festival of the Bengali community.

Every year Bengali diaspora, especially in Europe and the United States of America, place orders months before the festival but like in 2009, orders have declined significantly this year also.

"Due to the recession in the market our business has got affected. We send fiber and paper-pulp idols. On an average, we used to send 8-10 idols but in 2009 we sent three-four idols. This year, we have sent only two idols," said Biplab Pal, an Idol Maker.

Though the work for making idols has begun in full swing, the artisans are upset, as their export earnings have declined due to budget cuts this year.

"The international market is being hampered for a long time. We are not getting good profits from America, London and from other European countries. We started to export in 2004; I used to send 8-10 idols each year. In 2008 also I sent eight idols. Due to this recession in 2009, the export reduced a lot. In 2010 I sent only two idols," said Pradyut Pal, an exporter.

According to Kumartuli Mritashilpa Sanskriti Samity, an association of idol-makers, every year around 45 to 50 Durga idols were sent abroad but since last year, the idol-makers from Kolkata are getting orders for around 30-35 idols only.

Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the worship of goddess Durga. The festival is spread over five days and ends with the immersion of Durga idols in water on the last day of the festival. By Sankha Ghosh (ANI)

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