Pune: From past 18 years, city-based sculptor Rajendra Deshmukh of Shree Natraj Arts, who exports idols of Lord Ganesh to the Non Resident Indians (NRI) staying abroad, claims that the demand for plaster of paris (PoP) idols continues to be more as compared to idols made of eco-friendly material as PoP idols have more options.
Deshmukh claimed that the recent decision of the Central government of not levying GST on Ganesh idols is going to make it easier for the devotees to purchase these idols. Deshmukh said, “Last year, when GST was levied on Ganesh idols, devotees preferred to purchase idols that were of small size because the prices were double as compared to the previous year. The GST was applied only on Ganesh idols made from PoP, which was 18 per cent.”
“Almost 80 per cent of the people worldwide purchase idols made from PoP only. Because of the strength of the material, it is easier to carry out carving, finishing and designing,” he added.
Shamrao Deshmukh, father of Rajendra Deshmukh, said, “Currently, 900 idols are exported to Holland, London, Mauritius and Canada, which vary from 8 inch to 1.5 feet in height. All over India, we export 3,400 idols from which 3000 idols are from 1.5 feet to 2.5 feet long and the rest 400 idols are from 3.5 feet to 7 feet long.”
“Devotees mainly demand idols, which are made from PoP and there is less demand for the idols made from Shadu mati (clay). This is because there is no proper finishing and carving and designing for the idols made from Shadu mati. Creative designs, perfect finishing and decorative items can be sculpted in the idols made from PoP material. Normally there is no demand for eco-friendly Ganesh idols from abroad,” Deshmukh added.