The 10 year old artisan

Durga Puja is not only about basking in the spirit on ‘Bangaliana’, this annual celebration provides the only source of livelihood for a major chunk of clay artisans. But with the popularity of ‘theme Pujas’ increasing with each passing year, the traditional artisans are faced with a progressively shrinking demand. Jagabandhu Chakraborty, an artisan from Malda is one such example.
Jagabandhu was once well known in Malda for his Durga idols. But with demand for traditional idols slowing down, he could ill afford to hire someone to help him with the idols, and chances of completing the work his handful idols for Puja’15 looked slim. But, as luck would have it, his 10 year old son, Manoj volunteered to share the responsibility. It was more of a necessity than a matter of choice for Manoj, a hardworking student, who had to put aside his books and take the chisel and hammer. However, it soon turned out that he was unusually gifted and people from the neighborhood thronged to take a peek at his work. Manoj plans to continue juggling between studies and idol making going forward and is hopeful his idols for Durga Puja 2016 will bring in some luck to their family.

Photo & Source: Hindustan Times

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