The COVID-19 pandemic has dampened the spirit of Durga Puja this year. The Government Assam has also issued SOPs for puja celebration and with less numbers of puja pandals this year, the idol makers also faced crisis amid the pandemic.
The artisans in Assam especially in Guwahati who survived with the business of idols have faced severe financial problems as maximum orders for Durga Puja has come for small idols.
As the Durga Puja committees have been asked only to perform the rituals with minimum people by the state government, the committees have ordered for smaller idols. "This year there will be no theme pujas unlike the other years and therefore we are getting orders only of smaller idols. The committees will only perform the puja rituals for which they need only small idols. This time the numbers of orders are also less. Last year we made 35 idols but this year we got only 20 orders for idols, so we are facing acute financial problems," said one of the idol makers in Pandu.
The idol maker further said that they don't have any other source of livelihood other than selling of idols. "We earn our livelihood by selling only idols. This year the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened our business and we are suffering a great loss," the artisan said.
Meanwhile, the district administration of Kamrup Metro had also held a meeting with the puja committees on Thursday which was attended by half the committees than the other years.
The administration has issued guidelines to the committees and if any committee is found to violate the norms, strict action will be taken against them, said Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (M) Biswajit Pegu.