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Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin announces Rs 5,000 cash aid for Ganesh idol makers

The Chief Minister said that the government had already provided Rs 5,000 to close to 12,000 potters who were unable to earn a livelihood during the monsoon season.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
September 8, 2021 11:55:57 am
An artist gives final touches to Ganpati idol. (Express photo by Bhupendra Rana)

With the Tamil Nadu government banning public celebrations of the Vinayaka Chaturthi festival in the wake of Covid-19, Chief Minister MK Stalin Tuesday announced Rs 5,000 as financial aid to 3,000 artisans who make Ganesh idols.

Stating that the ban on public celebrations of the Vinayaka Chaturthi festival had affected the idol makers, Stalin announced financial assistance in the state assembly. He was responding to BJP legislative party leader Nainar Nagendran’s request to allow the festival in the state.

Stalin said that the government had already provided Rs 5,000 to around 12,000 potters who were unable to earn a livelihood during the monsoon season. “Among them, around 3,000 make Ganesh idols. Keeping in mind that the idol makers lost their livelihood during this time, the government has decided to provide them Rs 5,000 as financial aid,” he said.

Amid the Covid-19 protocols, the state government has denied permission for installation of idols in public places, processions, and immersion of the idols in water bodies by organisations. People have been requested to celebrate the festival at home. Individuals are allowed to carry the idols and immerse them in water bodies. In Chennai, citizens are not allowed to perform idol immersion on beaches, especially on the stretch between Santhome and Napier Bridge.

Stalin said that the Union Home Ministry had advised state governments to take suitable measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including preventing large gatherings, till September 30. The Vinayaka Chaturthi festival falls on September 10.

“After Kerala government allowed people to gather during Onam and Bakrid festivals, there has been a surge in infections. In Tamil Nadu, we haven’t completely eradicated the virus. Hence, considering the safety and welfare of the public, the government has put restrictions in place for all festivals till September 15, including Vinayaka Chaturthi. The government has already said that restrictions are only for public celebrations. Individuals can celebrate the festival following Covid-19 guidelines in their homes,” Stalin said.

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