Meet Monika Pal who has been making Durga idols since last 22 years
Monika Pal who did not follow the rules of gender differentiation has been part of this occupation ever since for the last 22 years. She alone broke the chasm of disparity and created an audience for herself and Kumartuli ( It is a traditional potters' quarter in northern Kolkata). It is not easy for a woman to create a career in idol-making, in an industry which has been dominated by men since time immemorial.
West Bengal: Monika Pal making Durga idols for livelihood since last 22 years, in Midnapore. Her husband died of cancer in 1996. pic.twitter.com/8nVk93ASDd— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2017
Breaking all the stereotypes, Pal holds the title of Dashabhuja (one with 10 hands) for her incredible agility in handling both, her studio and her house, at the same time.
According to Pal,''I take care of business, family depends on my earning. I make 15-16 Durga Idols every year.'' Pal lost her husband in 1996. He died of cancer.
Under Pal, there are other eight artisians working for her. Last year, when Pal made an Durga idol Ardhanarishwar,' for the transgender community, it immediately gained recognition for its unique, path-breaking concept. Though the locals conde locals criticised it, the media section praised the bold move of her.
Unlike Pal, there are other women artists as well, but she was the first one who started working in this field.
Durga Puja is the biggest festival of the Bengali community and is celebrated with unparalleled fanfare for five days in September/October across the world, but it's a whole different plane in Kolkata.