The Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone some or the other way and the artists of the country are bearing the brunt of it too. While the artists in the urban areas have had a tough time amid COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, the real survivors are those who are still battling it out in the rural areas.
Similar are the problems faced by Uday Das, a 45-year-old sculptor from Bolpur, a small town in West Bengal’s Birbhum district. Despite facing multiple troubles and being challenged by COVID in his business every single day, Uday Das did not lose hope or let the pandemic dampen his spirits. Drawing a loan of Eighty-thousand rupees from Bandhan bank, Das decided to build a unique house that looks like a bus, for the visitors.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Uday Das said, “I am a sculptor. I make statues out of clay as well as cement in Bolpur. I have a family of 7 but we live in a very small mud house. There’s my mother, father, 2 sons and a daughter. My parents are ailing, they are old. I have a grandchild too. I started this work quite some time ago. I couldn’t invest my time elsewhere because I wanted to dedicate all my time and efforts towards this work of making sculptures and doing something different. I have struggled a lot and in fact, still struggling to earn my bread and butter.”
But here, the motive of Uday Das to build the bus-like house was not for money, but to provide space for the guests. Das further said, “When I used to live in a tiny house, we couldn’t even accommodate our guests there. There was no space for any other person in that house except for my family members. Even during the monsoon, our visitors had to stand under the rain and meet us and hence I decided to build this house. I wished to build a better and larger house but this is what I have built for now. I wanted to make something creative, something new, something different. And I kept the concept of a bus so that it looks attractive from the outside and also have cross ventilation, which makes it comfortable for people to sit inside.”
However, the dark reality of losses we have had during the pandemic doesn’t change. Das too has been struggling to keep his business afloat ever since Coronavirus began. He said, “People have been coming to see this house but the situation in the middle of the pandemic has been extremely difficult anyway. I have ailing parents too. But I’ve always thought that no matter what problems I face, I should treat my guests with the utmost respect at my house. This is why I planned and built this house accordingly.”