Despite busy schedules, Patuapara artisans exercise their franchise

KOLKATA: Artisans, mainly women, of Kalighat's Patuapara under Bhabanipur Assembly constituency took some time out of their busy schedules—with barely 10 days left for Durga Puja—to cast their franchise in the bypoll on Thursday.

They had given preference to cast their votes despite heavy work load when incessant rainfall already hampered their work in the past few days.

They considered this by-poll to be one of the most significant elections in recent times as it had given them an opportunity to give a befitting reply to the defeat of their "parar meye" Mamata Banerjee, who became a victim of an alleged conspiracy at Nandigram.

Secondly, they thought they had got an opportunity to express their gratitude towards Banerjee for implementing a number of schemes.

An election just ahead of Durga Puja is a rare occasion that the artisans of Patuapara have come across in the past few decades.

"This is the peak time for all the artisans here as we have no time to sleep. Durga Puja organisers will start taking the idols to their mandaps in the next four to five days. Despite all these challenges, I along with my family members have cast our vote before starting my work today. After all, our "parar meye" is contesting the election," said 65-year-old Gopal Chitrakar.

He cast his vote at the election booth at Childrens' Academy.

There are around 400 artisans, at Kalighat, who have to meet their deadline.

A 47-year-old woman artisan, Mousumi Pal, was found busy painting an idol of Goddess Durga.

"I have cast my vote at 11.30 am at St Helen School taking a break from my work. We really feel proud being a resident of the locality of the state's Chief Minister," she said.

With the economy witnessing an upward graph compared to that of 2020, the artisans have received orders to make more idols this time.

The artisans mentioned that they had not faced any problems due to the campaign of the elections.

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