22 October 2019
Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: With just five days left for Diwali, everybody is not just excited about the festivities and food but also the shopping with a zillion deals available. But an eminent part of the festival of lights is the diyas or the earthen lamps.
OMMCOM NEWS spoke to some potters in the twin cities just before the Diwali festivities kick in.
Potters Bhagata and Satyabhama Muduli put a hold on diya making after the sourcing of raw material became more and more difficult and cheap Chinese lights invaded the market.
Ruefully, Bhagat says, “We used to get clay from Gangua Bridge (near Itipur) but it’s not possible anymore. Also, today’s youth are preferring office jobs in comparison to following traditional occupation.”
They now buy readymade diyas from Konark, Balakati, Balipatna, and Basantapur areas and sell it, said Satyabhama. However, with rising transportation costs and the fact that the earthen lamps get damaged easily, there is not much scope for profits.
The couple does boast of a huge variety of earthen lamps of various shape, size, and price.
In contrast, potter Surendra Behera from Cuttack opined that the effect of cheap Chinese lights on Diwali market was only temporary and that the earthen lamps are back in business.
“We have been making diyas for the last 17-18 years. We have made about 30-40 Lakh diyas this year and still not able to meet the demand”, said Behera.
Resenting the transportation costs and damage, he said that he will do a profitable business this year.
Another female potter who has been making diyas for last 40 years shared the process with the OMMCOM NEWS. She too said that Chinese lights and cheaper diyas from neighbouring states did not have any major effect on their business.