My search for more artisans ended with a visit to Gandhinagar, Delhi. It is situated near the Shastri Park metro station. One has to take battery car to reach there. At the side of the road, there it was opposite a mortuary, creation taking place with the destruction. As usual a tent was there, under which thirteen people were giving shape to the idols. The place was unexpectedly big and had many finished and unfinished idols.
In conversation with Aurbindo Das, an Idol Maker from Gandhinagar, Delhi
As I entered the place the artisans got cautious and I was greeted by their boss, Aurobindo Das. He got alert when I told him I need to interview his worker and him. He gave me an uncomfortable smile as we started our conversation.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“I am from Delhi. I go to West Bengal to get the craftsmen to prepare idol.”
“How many craftsmen do you have?”
“I have 13 artisans working for me.”
“Where do you get the material from?”
“Different material is procured from different places. The straw we get from Azadpur Mandi and the clay is from Loni Border.”
“So, how much do the idols cost?”
“It depends on the size of idol, the design, how many extra idol one wants etc. The price typically ranges from 1000-50,000.”
“From which area do people come to you to buy the idols?”
“Apart from Delhi, the people of Rohtak, Haryana, Panipat, Sonipat, Noida and Gurgaon are our usual customer.”
“How is the need of artisans getting fulfilled?”
“All the basic need of artisans are paid i.e. place to live, food and clothes. In addition to this, regular wage is given as long as the artisans stay here.”
“What do you do the rest of the year for living?”
“I earn enough money from selling the idols for six months. As such I only work for six month. The rest of the years I manage using the money earned.”
“How many people are there in your family?”
“Five. My son, wife and parents live with me. In fact my son actually helps me in managing the artisans.”
“So you are satisfied with the income?”
“Yes, I am satisfied with the job. I am playing a part in religious activity which is helping me to earn money. Nothing can be better than this.”
Contact the idol makers at Gandhi Nagar : 9811309122