The Chinese lights have brought down the business of local artisans business who prepares earthen lamps during the festive season of Diwali. As people prefer lights than to use earthen lamps in Diwali the market of potters has reduced.
The city people are so much habituated to the artificial things that they forget to celebrate the festivals with originality in it. “With the Chinese products entering the market people tend to buy those products like electric diyas, decorative lights etc. instead of lighting earthen lamps on Diwali. With the changing time trends have also changed and people want more designer items than a simple diya,” said a local artisan in the city.
The artisan said that the business has gone down from the last 5 years when the lights and decorative items entered the market. “Earlier we used to make a profit during Diwali but now-a-days we can’t even sell half of the items. Earlier, if people used to buy 200 diyas now they buy only 50 diyas. The electric items don’t need oil like in earthen lamps for which the customers prefer those items. Similarly, the other items like pots, earthen glass, flower pots are being replaced with plastic pots, glass, etc.,” said the artisan.
He also said that as it is the only source of livelihood for them it becomes difficult to run a house or the family due to low income.
Another artisan said, “I have been doing this business since 15 years of age but from the last 10 years I feel that now I should give up as the business is not good. But thinking of my family I have to continue until my children grow up and find a source of income. The city people now-a-days do not prefer earthen products as they think that they do not last long. The earthen glass has been replaced with plastic glass in hotels and restaurants, on occasions like marriage etc. Earlier, people used earthen products that are eco-friendly and these products are slowly diminishing day by day. People don’t use earthen flower pots as they think that it breaks quickly but for plantation earthen flower pots are more useful.”
He also said that in festivals like Diwali people do not even buy earthen lamps because markets are flooded with electric diyas, lights etc. which are more decorative. Although the administration has issued guidelines not to sell Chinese products but still the markets are flooded with the same and people are so attracted towards those items that they forget to buy earthen lamps which are more worthy. “The new generation also prefer such things as the products are more beautiful and we do not make design lamps as people do not tempt to buy from it. The expenses are high in making clay items as we bought the clay from Goalpara and one vehicle costs Rs. 15000 and more but we do not make any profit due to a reduction in sales,” the artisan said.
Diya makers of the various regions are busy carving out earthen lamps of different shapes and sizes which makes it all the more attractive and beautiful. The craftsmen are putting their efforts day and night and their passion for making these earthen lamps is reflected in their creativity but will their hard work be paid by the customers for whom they are working day and night.