Panchkula: For generations, Indian homes were lit up by diyas or decorated with traditional earthen lamps during festivals but potters now complain that customers prefer cheaper electrical lights or more pricey products in shopping malls, jeopardising their livelihood.
Until a few years ago, hundreds of potters and their families would be overworked in the run up to different festivals, churning out thousands of small and big clay lamps that would brighten innumerable homes and businesses but for the past couple of years kumhars (potters) in Panchkula have been facing a steep fall in their earnings.
‘’The diya business has now sharply declined. There is a huge fall in the sale of diyas. Following a dip in the business throughout the year, our life has entered a dark phase,” told Raju, owner of the potter market being set up at Sector 14, Panchkula.
“The craft of making pots is changing with time. We make flower pots and diyas, while the murals and other decorative items come from Kolkata. However, people are more interested in decorating their homes with fancy lights or jelly candles rather than traditional diyas,” he said.
Raju, a native of Panchkula, who has his potter market set up for the past 25 years in the city, said that working since several generations and running the market throughout the year, they did not had a brisk business as the sales have dipped on a large scale as compared to the past couple of years.
Girish, another potter, a native of Uttar Pradesh working under Raju, said, ‘’The latest products in the market have jolted our business. Every year there is at least a 30 per cent fall in sales as modernisation has changed society.’’
‘’Earlier we did not even get time to rest during festival seasons. But now we do not even sell half the products we prepare. Festivals are no more a busy time,” added Girish, who learnt the craft from his family elders.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook