Urban Narratives: Meet the Idol Makers

Ganesha Charurthi, is a very popular Hindu Festival celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed god, Ganesha or Ganapathi. This festival, also sees large public celebrations within the areas. The God makers, who exist behind the scene working untirelessly throughout the year, proudly display their creations. Who are these people, under whose hands the gods take shape? What are their stories? Take a listen to the stories of Artists Mani Kumar, Srinivas and Nanjundappa

Mani Kumar| 45 years of experience in idol making

Here are a few highlights from his interview:

My shop is about 60 years old, I inherited by father’s business…

…. We moved from Clay Ganesha, to the popular Plaster of Paris based, Bombay Ganesha idols and now we are coming full circle with the Clay Ganesha…

… I am proud to say that I sent my son abroad for his higher studies, being in this profession…

 

Srinivas | 58 years of experience in idol making

My parents started off as vegetable vendors and then branched into making Durga idols. It’s only after a suggestion from one of our customers that we started making Ganesha idols…

…The Commissioner has issued a notification, and we all have to stop making the Bombay Ganesha ( Plaster of Paris Ganesha) idols…

…Clay is so difficult to procure…We have to literally beg people near the Varthur Kere to give us some…

Nanjundappa | 35 years of experience in idol making

We make only Clay Ganesha idols… What’s the point of the idol not disolving and causing our environment more grief, with pollution…

…We make the idols from our hands and not by machines… I am worried, about our legacy… who will continue our work? …

…The Government must do something for the Kumbara communities…

 

Interviews by Priyanka and Radha Mani

 

 

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