VIJAYAWADA, INDIA, July 22, 2023 (Hans India): A large number of Ganesh statues ranging from one ft to 20 ft are being made for the upcoming auspicious Vinayaka Chavithi fete, the most favorite festival of the Hindus. Several local artisans have been involved in making various forms of Ganesh statues for the past three months. Most of the statues are being molded by using plaster of Paris, coir and wood substances. Some of the artisans are also receiving orders for making clay idols which consist of hay and natural dyes. Around 500 families in both Krishna and NTR districts are engaged in these statue-making activities. They commenced the activity in May, five to six months ahead of the festival. This year, the artisans have planned to make around 6,000 statues in both districts.

Owing to the massive increase in the rates of plaster of Paris, color substances, which are key for the statue making, and a hike in the transport costs make the statue rates costlier this year compared to the last year. The artisans are expecting to increase 20 percent rates on each statue. Generally, small to medium size statues are sold for US$37 to $61 and medium to big size statues are sold from $134 to $610. A maximum cost of $610 is charged for the biggest statues which are made in both the districts excluding transport charges. This year the rates could see a hike of about 30%.