Dhoolpet is alleged to be the hub of liquor brewing and ganja making business but every year, three months prior to Ganesh Chaturthi they wash off their sins by making idols

It’s atonement time for the Dhoolpet residents who are brewing gudumba (illicit liquor) or busy making ganja round the clock. They are now giving final touches to the Ganesh idols. Dhoolpet is one of the old suburbs in Old City. This area is inhabited by people who migrated from Uttar Pradesh during the Nizam’s rule.

Dhoolpet is known for the notorious liquor brewing and ganja businesses, but every year, this is the time when they wash off their sins by making Ganesh idols. However, the earnings are three times less than what they earn by selling illicit liquor. In spite of this, they are ready to compromise as it’s a matter of pleasing god to wash off their sins.

“Three months prior to Ganesh Chaturthi is the only time when we stop brewing liquor. The main aim is to wash off our sins. It’s been over a month now since we have started to make Ganesh idols. I have made nearly 120 ganesh idols so far. The sizes range from two feet to 20 feet. Even the women from the family are involved in making idols. The men in the family do the final painting,” said Laxman Singh, who has been making idols since the last two decades.

“The earnings are low compared to what we earn otherwise but paapo ka prayaschit karna bhi zaruri hai,” he adds. Gudumba and Ganja are our their source of income. Most of the families are into this business from the time of Nizams. “The excise department has conducted many raids here, but we don’t fear in the trade that we practice as Lord Ganesha will take care of us,” gushes the old man.

Not adhering to government rules is nothing new for the residents.

Most of them still make idols using plaster of paris and they don’t want to make clay idols. “Whatever the government may say, but idols made of plaster of paris are still more in demand compared to the clay ones. Pandal organisers place orders for plaster of paris made idols only and that is the reason we don’t make eco-friendly Ganesh idols,” said Devi Singh, a resident of Dhoolpet.

Many workers are seen giving the “Dhoolpet finishing” to the idols. It’s a particular finishing in terms of touch, colour and even design.