Old age does not deter these artists from crafting marvels
Thiruvananthapuram: For Rangan, a resident of Malayam, old age is not a period to retire from the job. At the age of 72, he makes beautiful sculptures with great dedication to his job.
Rangan and 20 handicraftsmen are working in Kairali run by Handicrafts Development Corporation in Attakulangara. The majority of the workers are in old age. But these people have an amazing talent in making sculptures.
Though the beautiful sculptures have great demand, the sculptors never get the wage they deserve. They work for many months to complete a sculpture. But only a small amount is given as wage for their toil. An amount of Rs 50,000 during retirement and a bonus amount for Onam are the only allowances given to them.
Corporation provides the tools and wood to make sculptures. Two workers are appointed to cut the wood. Corporation officials decide the price of sculptures. But the artists are not get rewarded in a proper way. They only get making charges of sculptures.
These old men including Rangan have been working in the corporation for 50 years. At first, they made sculptures on rosewood and nowadays they are using laurel wood (Thembavu) and beach wood (Kumbil).
Sculptures made in Thiruvananthapuram had great demand in exhibition sales outside the district. The corporation had a good number of expert handicraftsmen who can make artistic sculptures in different shapes. But due to the inefficiency of Handicrafts Corporation, the sculptures do not get a market.