Kolkata: Breaking all stereotypes, a woman, Monika Pal in Midnapore, has been making Durga idols for livelihood for the last 22 years.
It was not easy for her to create a career in idol-making, in an industry which has been dominated by men since time immemorial, but Pal created an audience for herself and Kumartuli (a traditional potters’ quarter in northern Kolkata), when her husband died of cancer in 1996.
Pal holds the title of Dashabhuja (one with 10 hands) for her incredible agility in handling her personal and professional life.
Pal said she takes care of the business and her family depends on her earning.
“I lost my husband in 1996 due to cancer. I take care of the business. My family depends on my earning. I make 15-16 Durga Idols every year,” he added.
In 2015, she made an androgynous sculpture for the transgender community called ‘Ardhanarishwar,’ one of the first such idols in India.
Durga Puja, also referred to as ‘Durgotsava’ or ‘Sharadotsav’, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga. It marks the victory of the Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo-demon Mahishasura. The festival epitomises victory of good over evil.