Recently married, Namrata Raut returned to her family home in rural western India to paint hundreds of Ganesha idols ahead of a major Hindu festival celebrating the elephant-headed deity. Pen, in Maharashtra state, is renowned for its exquisitely designed and beautifully coloured statues of the auspicious god, which are sold around the world providing the lifeblood of this small community. ‘There are about 350 workshops in the town and they all require many artists,’ Raut tells AFP, putting the finishing touches on another brightly painted carving of Hinduism’s most recognisable god. ‘I got married a month ago and live in Mumbai now but I’ve returned to help out. The industry is key to people’s livelihoods here. It fills the stomachs of families,’ the 28-year-old adds. Ganesh Chaturthi is a

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