Mrunal Manmay Dash

While there is a lot of excitement across the country about the establishment of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the excitement is doubled at Mangalpur, Manipur, Gohirapada, Manatri and Rusha villages of Soro block in Balasore district.

Several youth workers from these villages have donated labour for the temple of Shri Ram. Various rocks of the Ram temple have been brought to life by their hard work.

These villages in Soro are jostling with pride as some of them have returned to the village. The villagers and the family narrated their experiences of the time of the construction of the temple. The villagers are also proud that the sons of their soil have got such a great privilege.

“We are feeling very good after doing work at Ram Temple. It is a prestigious work. We never had such kind of recognition in anywhere else. We have showcased our skills to the best of our ability. Our work mostly revolved around sculping idols of Gods and Goddesses including Lord Ganesha, Lord Narayan, Goddesses Laxmi and Saraswati,” said a sculptor, Jagatjivan Maharana from Soro.

Similarly, another sculptor Santosh Kumar Parida said, “A lot of artisans and sculptors were invited for the Ram Temple construction. But only a few of them could actually work on the divine project. It was like Lord Ram chose who would work at his temple and who wouldn't. People are asking us about our experience at Ayodhya. They are very happy for us too.”

Asked about the lads who have returned from Ayodhya, a villager Bairagi Parida said, “We are very happy that youths from our area have contributed to the works of Ram Temple at Ayodhya. We are proud of them too.”

Not only the sculptors, but people from all walks of life have donated their labour for the Ram temple. A cook from Soro, Shankarshan Rout was also a part of the team who provided food to the workmen at Ayodhya.

Speaking about his experience, he said, “I cooked for almost 70 people working at the Ram Temple. Many of them were Odias. Almost all the side-idols of the Temple were built by sculptors from Odisha.”

Ram Temple project engineer-in-chief, Jagdish Saphale had earlier heaped praise on the artisans and sculptors from Odisha. He said, “The artisans from Odisha are working very hard and have contributed immensely to stone carving on pillars and drawing iconographic figures of idols.”

He said the artisans from Odisha deserve special appreciation despite not being in the organised sector as they are experts in the work.

  • Reported by:
  • Niranjan Behera