Shortage Of Thermocol For Lord Jagannath’s Chariot

KHURDHA: Their work is meant for business. But when it comes to serving Lord Jagannath, they work with utmost devotion forgetting their remuneration for their work.

A family of Gurujang Bhoisahi in Khurdha has been supplying flowers made of thermocol for the decoration of chariots of the presiding deities of Srimandir during Rath Yatra festival for the last 13 years.

The family of craftsman Birakishore Naik supplies thermocol-made decorative pieces to the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) without any formal remuneration.

They said it is a great pleasure for them to watch their crafts used in the chariots of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.

“We had just imagined of decorating the chariots of the Trinity with thermocol-made flowers.  During a visit to the holy city on the occasion of Rath Yatra in 1999, we had sought the permission of SJTA to decorate the three chariots with our crafts in 2000. The temple administration allowed us to decorate the chariots in 2003,” said Naik.

Naik and his brother Rajkishore collect natural thermocols from water bodies in Astarang, Kanas, Banki, Nimapara and Kakatpur areas during winter.

“We start preparing flowers with thermocol on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Trutiya every year. Our family follows a special diet to maintain sanctity until the completion of the task,” they said.

However, they are facing a shortage of raw materials that forced them to prepare only 150 flowers against the requirement of 600.