No Lights in the Lives of Artisans This ‘Diwali’

Juthika Baruah

The festival of light ‘Diwali’ is round the corner but there is no enthusiasm amongst the artisans as they have no sale of earthen lamps. There are several reasons that artisans have to incur the loss during the festival.

It was since last few years that the Chinese products have taken over the market during Diwali but now the use of plastic items have also hampered the market of the local artisans who used to earn their livelihood by selling the products made of clay. “The COVID-19 pandemic, use of Chinese products and plastic items has hampered us a lot. It was during Diwali that we used to sell earthen lamps or diyas in large quantities but now our market is very bad. Since the Chinese products hit the market, people don’t prefer to buy diyas. Other than that, the COVID-19 pandemic has also hampered our livelihood as the festivals are being celebrated in a restricted manner,” said Babulal, one of the artisans while speaking to Pratidin Time.

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Earthen lamps being prepared for Diwali

He further stated that although people buy Chinese lights, there were a section of people who used to buy diyas in small quantity during Diwali but they buy every year but this year those people have also given a second thought to buy earthen lamps due to the soaring prices of oil. They prefer to buy lights in Diwali rather than to buy earthen lamps due to the high price of oil, he added.

Babulal also expressed sorrow as there is no other option left rather than to make the items as it is their only means of livelihood. “We have to make the products whether it gets sold or not. It is also difficult now-a-days to get the wet clay and it costs high price than earlier,” he said.

Talking about the sale of items, Babulal said that things now-a-days have become easier with the online market as people order things in a minute and they don’t take a headache to come to market and buy these type of products. “It is not only diyas but the sale of other items has also gone down as people replace these products with plastic items. The plastic items are easily available and long lasting. Even the flower vases are also replaced with plastic vase which is durable and long-lasting. Earlier, people used earthen products but now these have been replaced with plastic items,” he reiterated.

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