Covid shadow: Punjab effigy-makers but to get orders for Dasehra

Archit Watts
Tribune News Service
Muktsar, September 11

Having stored all festivals since March a low-key affair, the Covid pandemic now casts a darkish shadow over the forthcoming festive season comprising Navratras, Dasehra and Diwali.

With the virus exhibiting no indicators of ebbing, related artisans concern lack of livelihood. Effigy-makers say it’s for the primary time they haven’t acquired any orders for Dasehra. “I am into this trade for the past four decades. In normal times, orders would come around two months in advance. But, none so far this time,” says Pawan of Malout.

Boasting of consumers from virtually all components of Punjab and even neighbouring Haryana, Himachal and Rajasthan, Pawan and his crew would cost round Rs 90,000 for the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna. “In Punjab, religious and social organisations celebrate Dasehra. The scenario is different in Rajasthan where municipalities invite tenders for the festival. The tenders, however, are yet to be floated this year,” provides Pawan, pinning hopes on an unconfirmed order of 10 small effigies from Abohar.

Delhi-based Naveen, who provides effigies throughout Punjab and Haryana, too seems pessimistic about enterprise prospects this 12 months. “Our main earnings used to come from effigies. At least 20 orders would come by now. Dasehra is on October 25, but not even a single order has come our way,” he maintains. Those trying to earn by Navratras and Diwali too are a frightened lot saying celebrations, and thus earnings, wouldn’t be the identical amid Covid restrictions.

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