UP set to challenge China’s Ganesh idol monopoly this Diwali

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BY VIVEK TRIPATHI
Lucknow, June 4 (IANS)
Uttar Pradesh is all set to challenge the Chinese monopoly in Gauri-Ganesh idol supply this Diwali. On instructions from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, ‘Mati Kala Board will take the lead in this endeavor.
State-level online and manual workshops will be organized with the help of renowned sculptors and terracotta experts bringing clay to life.
The online workshop, which will be held this month, includes experts from the Indian Institute of Craft and Design (IICD, Jaipur), Mahatma Gandhi Rural Industrialization
Institute (MGRII, Wardha), National Institute of Fashion and Technology (NIFT, Rae Bareli) and UP Industries of Design (UPID) and other professionals known for quality and competitive pricing. Their expertise will be of immense help in making Gauri-Ganesh statues.
The online workshops will be held either in the offices of industries’ general managers of all divisions or elsewhere. Large television screens will be installed at the workshops and sculptors will be present there, but following social distancing.
The experts in sculpture will help solve problems, providing the necessary skills and inputs for making idols.
For example, NIFT experts will brief them on safe packaging of finished products. MGRII’s Vivek Masani will explain the process of firing of gas furnaces. Fine arts and sculpture experts KK Srivastava and Amarpal will share their two decades of experience.
A state-level manual workshop will be organised at Gorakhpur in August. Gorakhpur is the venue because people of Aurangabad’s Bhathat town and adjoining villages have mastered the art of terracotta work. Many people of these villages have also been honoured for their skills at the state and national level.
It is due to their skills that Gorakhpur qualifies for the ‘One District One Product’ (ODOP) distinction in terracotta.
Learning from the skills and expertise of the people of Gorakhpur, others from the state will also hone their skills. Improvement in quality will improve the demand for their product. People will also get employment at the local level.
The chief minister has reiterated that more people will be provided employment by the �Mati Kala Board’.
The department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has also prepared an action plan from training to employment. People will be provided three types of short-term training to improve the quality of their products.
It will have 75 sessions of three-day training, 10 sessions of seven-day training and 15 sessions of 15-day training. The department aims at providing employment to 10,500 people under various schemes of the ‘Mati Kala Board’ in the current financial year.
Principal secretary MSMEs Navneet Sehgal said, “It is the chief minister’s intention to promote Swadeshi. On Diwali, almost every family buys Gauri-Ganesh idols for worship. Most of these sculptures come from China. To break China’s monopoly, our sculptors can make similar or better quality idols at competitive prices which is the purpose of the workshop.”

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