With barely 120 days to go for Durga Puja, 100 odd artisans at Kumartuli were vaccinated on Wednesday as they hoped to resume work at the city’s famed clay idol hub after the enhanced safety restrictions in the state are relaxed.
The hub is home to 400 odd artisans and their families along with some 2500 odd workers and helpers who come to the city from districts like Nadia and Murshidabad. While 100 were vaccinated on Wednesday, 300 others will get the shot on June 15 and 16 during the next phase of the drive.
“In the next four-five months, this idol hub will be frequented by thousands of idol makers, workers as well as customers and outsiders. Hence, vaccination was the need of the hour for artisans like us to fight against the pandemic. Also, the chief minister has instructed that work can resume at smaller units post vaccination and now that many of us have been vaccinated, I believe we can resume work,” said Babu Pal, secretary of Mritshilpa Sanskriti Samity.
The vaccination drive was organized by former India captain Sourav Ganguly’s foundation.
The second wave of Covid-19, coupled with the ongoing enhanced safety restrictions in the state, has made the artisans wary of their artwork with many of them claiming to be absolutely out of business this year. Last year, Durga Puja organisers had ordered smaller and cheaper idols to suit their reduced budget but this year, many artisans claimed, no orders had been placed so far.
“The situation is worse than last year. Many of us have received no orders so far this year. But we hope the vaccination drive will improve situation and we will get to celebrate Durga Puja,” Ganesh Chandra Pal, who took the vaccine on Wednesday.
Source: Times of India