Idol makers commonly known as pauls are passing their busy days in making idols of Hindu deity ahead of Durga Puja festival in Rajshahi city and nine upazilas of the district.
With only eight days left, the Pauls are working round the clock to make sure that the idols are ready in time.
The Pauls hope for earning better earnings this year as the number of puja mandaps has increased in the region.
Kartik Paul, an idol maker of Alupotti area of the city said cost of raw materials including earth, rope, straw, bamboo and jute for idols have highly been increased but their remuneration has remained the same for the last several years.
“Now I have very little time to sleep as the idols are to be completed as per work order”, said Kartik.
“Five to eight workers need 10-15 days for making a large idol while smaller ones need around two weeks each,” he added. He added that about one hundred Paul groups of Rajshahi are now busy making idols for mandops and they have already completed 90 per cent works of making the idols.
Swapon Ghosh, a devotee who supervises a puja mandop in Kumarpara area of the city, informed that preparations for the upcoming Durga Puja have become costlier due to high price of the raw materials as well as increased charges of idol makers, purohits and dhakis.
Tapan Kumar Sen, trustee of Hindu Religion Welfare Trust, told BSS that the Durga puja will be celebrated in 422 puja mondaps including 70 in Rajshahi city from September 26 to 30.
Around 500 idol makers are engaged in making idols for Durga Puja in the region. One of them says he along with his assistant will make 10-12 idols.
Decorations of temples, lighting, and setting up of mandaps have already begun giving a festival look in the city.
Busy putting finishing touches to the idols, they are pleased with the orders they have received from places both within and outside of the district like Chapainawabgonj, Naogaon, Natore, Bogra, Joypurhat, Pabna and and Sirajganj, said some artisans in the city, reports BSS from Rajshahi.