25 October 2019
Bhubaneswar: The terracotta craft exhibition, 'Mruttika-2019' in Bhubaneswar is attracting huge crowds both for buying decorative designer diyas (wicker lamps) and other decorative items for homes ahead of Diwali-the festival of lights which falls next Sunday this year.
The exhibition ground at Unit-3 has become the destination for buyers seeking earthen terracotta designer diyas to light up their homes this Deepawali forsaking cheap Chinese electric lamps and LED lights.
Visitors and artisans have both lauded the initiative of the government for providing a big opportunity to the terracotta artisans to sell their products directly to the consumers, right ahead of Diwali.
“I have been setting up my stall here for the last ten years. There is a good demand for our products since its Diwali time. We are selling diyas with a price range that ranges between Rs 1 to Rs 500. Since this event is held before Diwali, a lot of people come here to buy decorative designer diyas. There is always a demand for earthen/terracotta products. We are using fabric colours,” said Sanjaya Parida, a terracotta artisan from Puri district.
“Clay products are back in demand. There was a time when plastics had invaded our lives since it has been banned were buying earthen mugs, tumblers and pitchers. Our children will learn from us. I have purchased earthen water mugs, teacups etc for my personal use and few other items including diyas for decorating my home,” said Banaja Mahapatra, a visitor to the exhibition from Patia area of Bhubaneswar.
“There is a constant demand for terracotta items. Apart from the traditional saffron colour we are using different other colours to attract buyers. Figurines of animals, gods and goddesses and different utility items like diyas, earthen works etc. are popular with buyers. We are selling items in a price range which varies from Rs 20-Rs 4, 000,” says Sabitalata Behera, a terracotta artisan from Bhadrak who is participating in the expo.
“These artisans have come from far-off places. We need to encourage them. I have bought a few decorative items for my house and diyas as well for the Deepawali which is a few days away. Terracotta is our heritage and at the same time it is eco-friendly,” remarked Kirti Vikram Das, a visitor from Jayadev Vihar area of Bhubaneswar.
“There is a good demand for flower vases and diyas. Since we maintain good quality our products are well appreciated by the customers and there is a good demand for our products. People are interested to buy products to decorate their homes. Despite the invasion of Chinese products, people are still buying earthen diyas in large numbers. We are also selling terracotta planters, table lamps and vases apart from diyas,” said Sisir Jena, a stall owner from Baripada in Mayurbhanj district.
“There is good demand for earthen diyas and figurines of Lord Ganesh and Mother Laxmi in our stall,” said Susil Rana, a terracotta artisan from Bargarh.
“Many people don't know that so many items are available in terracotta. Here you can get to know that a huge variety of items are available in terracotta. There are around 200 stalls here and each stall has a speciality of its own. This exhibition is a big initiative of the government to help these artisans to promote and sell their products,” said Sachin Dalmia, a visitor to the exhibition from Sambalpur.
The event inaugurated on Saturday last is organized by the Directorate of Handicrafts and Cottage Industries, Odisha and will be held from October 19 to 25.
Close to 200 artisans from 20 districts across the state are participating in the exhibition.