Light is the new heavyweight as far as Durga Puja pandals go in Jamshedpur.
The Bhuiyandih Area Durga Puja Committee seems to have taken the diktat of Jamshedpur Durga Puja Kendriya Samiti, which has urged the organisers to opt for lighter idols, seriously.
This year, the puja, which is organised by former MLA Dulal Bhuiyan and is particularly known for its intricate work and lighting, has ordered idols made of polystyrene, popular known as thermocol. This not only means that there will be lesser hassles at the time of bringing the idols to the pandal, but also lesser expenses. Thermocol is also being used to decorate the pandal, which is being modelled after Mukteshwar temple of Odisha.
The total budget is Rs 14 lakh.
The Puja committee has roped in artisans from Asansol to make the idols of Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesh and Kartik, which will be the lightest by far.
If on an average, an idol weighs between 30kg and 35kg, the Bhuiyandih ones will be below 10kg, which must come as a relief for those who have to shoulder the idols.
“We are using about one lakh thermocol sheets that have been brought from Calcutta. These sheets, six-inch thick each, are not found here. What we have done is combine two thermocol sheets to make a thick one and then sculpted the figures out of it,” said Sonu Singh, an artist who has been working with 14 others for the past one month to ready the idols.
Once the idols are ready, they will be covered with a thick layer of Plaster of Paris and will be attached to a plywood frame with decorative borders, also made of thermocol.
The 80ft high pandal will also be crafted out of plywood and thermocol. About 40 workers from Bengal’s Bankura are overnight to complete it.
“The idea of using a light material came from the committee members. It’s difficult to handle a heavy idol and hence, we decided to try a new concept. After the Puja gets over, I would like to keep the idols myself,” said Dulal Bhuiyan, the patron of the Puja.