Kolkata Traffic Police Sukumar Mandal Makes Durga Idol His Passion And Amazes People

From a young age, Sukumar Mandal was fascinated by the clay artisans' craftsmanship in his hometown of Thakurpukur. Watching them mould clay, bamboo, and straw into intricate idols of deities filled him with wonder. Perhaps it was during those moments that he also started building his dream of creating goddess idols himself. Over the years, that young boy has grown into a dedicated traffic police officer, but his passion for crafting idols remains as strong as ever. Sukumar Mandal, now in his forties, has achieved remarkable proficiency in this art.

Sukumar recalls his school days, where he would often find himself drawn to the spaces where idols were being crafted. He admired the process of idol-making and was captivated by it. Inspired by what he saw, he would return home and try his hand at crafting various idols. It was during his seventh-grade class that he created a Saraswati idol for the school's prayer club, which received widespread appreciation. As the years passed, he took on the challenge of making the Durga idol for the club, and it became an annual tradition.


Sukumar's journey took a significant turn when the residents of Raniya Udayan Palli in Bansdroni, Kolkata, recognised his talent. His name quickly spread beyond the locality, and orders started pouring in from far and wide. While pursuing his higher secondary education, Sukumar accepted the responsibility of sculpting the goddess Durga's idols for various clubs during the festive season.

The road wasn't without its challenges, and Sukumar experienced moments of doubt. However, he credits his mentor, Rajesh Samaddar, who is also a renowned idol maker and a fellow resident of Bansdroni. Rajesh guided Sukumar and provided unwavering support, which became the foundation of Sukumar's journey as an idol maker. His younger brother, Sudhanshu, also played a vital role in assisting Sukumar in the art of idol crafting.

Sukumar Mandal's portfolio isn't limited to Durga idols; he has become proficient in creating Kali idols as well. He starts his work as early as Falgun-Chaitra and continues through the Pujo season. Each year, the number of orders keeps growing. While he primarily works as a traffic guard during the day, he takes up night shifts during the festive season, often working tirelessly to meet the demands.

Yet Sukumar's dedication doesn't end with idol-making; he also takes care of his family. He stepped into the world of competitive exams and managed to secure a government job in 2009. He first served in the Reserve Forces and later took on a deputation to the mayor's office. In 2018, he began his journey as a traffic guard, managing the bustling streets of Kolkata.

In addition to his job, Sukumar participates in various activities such as marathon running, drilling, and firefighting. However, his greatest love remains sculpting clay idols. To him, the idol made by Sanatan Rudra Pal holds a special place in his heart, as its sheer beauty leaves him mesmerised.

Sukumar's life story is a testament to the human spirit's resilience and the power of passion. He perseveres through the pressure, long hours, and challenges of managing both his job and his craft. It's no surprise that the idols he creates leave people in awe. His dedication to his craft and unwavering commitment make him stand out as a true artist. Kolkata eagerly awaits the Durga Pujo season to see the mesmerising idols that Sukumar Mandal creates.

Sukumar Mandal's story is an inspiring example of how a dream nurtured from childhood can become a lifelong passion, even amidst the demands of a challenging career. His determination, hard work, and unwavering love for crafting idols have made him a beloved figure in his community, and his art continues to captivate all who see it.

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