Profit is all about supply and demand. India, being a country of festivals still celebrates numbers of festivals every year in all parts of the country. Every time there is a pooja, there will be a pandal and an idol would be established. Neither the demand has not gone down nor the supply. So what is it that has never uplifted the business of arts in the country? Is it the government’s ignorance or is there something else? Most idol makers in the country still remains hand to mouth. Idol maker Karunakar Moharana feels bitter about the lack of government support to local artisans.
“Sculptors of Odisha fail to get government support and as a result our art and sculpture are unable to have a chance of excellence,” lamented 61-year-old Karunakar, an idol maker hailing from Ria in Simulia block of Balasore.
Karunakar Moharana is known for his idol making skills even outside the state. He makes beautiful idols. Five years ago, he was honoured by the state government at Soochana Bhawan in Bhubaneswar. He is equally proficient in cement and stone sculpting. He also teaches the art of idol making to the local youths. But alas, the situation of the idol makers remain unchanged as the government pay no attention to them.
“Artisans in other states get government support, but it is not happening in Odisha,” he noted.
He mastered the art without any teacher or guide to help him in the learnings. Later he taught his son to make idols so that Ganesh does not have to struggle for jobs. Karunakar started making idols since the age of 20 and supported his family solely with the profit gained by selling idols.
“Various puja committees in Odisha like to engage artisans from Kolkata in idol making during Ganesh puja, Durga puja and Kali puja. They spray paints on the idols so as to quickly finish the work, but our artisans use paint brush to make the idols lively,” said Karunakar.