AP's Gadilanka leads the way in promoting clay Ganeshas
Deccan Chronicle| vadrevu srinivas
Village elders are listening and appreciating the youngsters for their views on saving the environment and PoP idols are the second preference.
An artisan gives finishing touches to a Ganesha idol made of clay using natural colours, in Gadilanka village of Mummidivaram mandal of of East Godavari district on Thursday. (Photo: DC)
Kakinada: Gadilanka, a tiny village in Mummidivaram mandal in Konaseema region of of East Godavari district, hums with activity at this time of the year.
People from across Andhra Pradesh, as well as from other states like Telangana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh visit Gadilanka to buy the clay Ganesha idols made by its residents.
The village has been famous for the Ganesha idols since decades and has contributed immensely to ecological awareness among the devotees.
About 100 of the 450 families in the village depend on making Ganesha idols for their livelihood. They begin work on the idols six months before the nine-day festival starts. Buyers begin placing orders from March onward.
The idols are of various sizes, beginning from 6 inches to 6 feet and the price depends on the height of the idol. Buyers shell out anything from `20 for the 6 inch idol to `10,000 for the larger ones.
According to the village artisans, they have made about 40 lakh idols that will be sold in AP and other states this Vinayaka Chaturthi.
Artisan Kommireddy Nageswara Rao said that Gadilanka has been famous for its Ganesha idols for past ten decades.
"It all started when Pedireddy Venkanna his family members achieved national fame with their idols. Gradually, other residents of the village too started making Ganesha idols and soon, neighbouring villages like Kothapeta followed our lead. However, Gadilanka has always been the preferred choice of buyers," Mr Nageswara Rao said.
He added that artisans had recently started making the idols with Plaster of Paris and artificial colours, if the pandal organisers wanted so. "There is greater awareness this year about the importance of clay idols to protect the environment. So, many among the younger generation are exerting pressure on the elders and pandal organisers to opt for clay order instead of the PoP ones," Mr Nageswara Rao added. — PTI