Not all is well in Diyas fight with Chinese lights in Guwahati

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

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Not all is well in Diyas fight with Chinese lights in Guwahati

Hiranya Barman | November 06, 2018 16:23 hrs

GUWAHATI: Like every year, the markets of Guwahati have been flooded with Diwali items. Crackers, flowers, diyas, dry fruits and everything else that you need for the Diwali celebrations are overflowing the sidewalks of popular shopping zones like Fancy Bazar, Ganeshguri and other markets of the city.

Diyas (earthen lamps) form an integral part of Diwali and G Plus tried to get in touch with the diya (earthen lamps) sellers to understand what was going in their world of business. The best locations to get these diyas in bulk are from sellers near the Kamakhya Gate and the Maligaoin road.

These earthen lamps are brought from Gauripur, Kalangpar, Chimnidhora, Malibari and Pathsala during the festive season.

Speaking to G Plus, one of the sellers had this to say, “Sale of earthen lamps in the city is same as last year. However, the sales would dip in the coming years. The Chinese lights have started getting cheaper every year, while our labour and transport costs are increasing.”

The retail price of earthen lamps near Kamakhya gate is set at Rs. 10 per dozen for the small ones, the medium ones at Rs. 20 per dozen, the large ones at Rs. 30 per dozen and the extra-large ones at Rs. 50 per dozen.

The sellers hope that the government’s move to have an eco-friendly Diwali might get the people’s attention.

“Sale has been same as last year. In fact we thought sale would increase due to government’s proposal to observe eco-friendly Diwali. People don’t want to pay the price we set. Price negotiations at large are killing our business. Chinese products are flooding the market. These products in a sense are making people lazy,” Ajay Singh, a vendor said.

“I am not buying much of earthen lamps as I have also to buy LED lights. Along with the earthen lamps there is additional expense of mustard oil. Moreover, it is hard to keep the lamps lighted all the time,” a customer buying diyas at Maligaon said.

Not everyone is crazy about Chinese glittery lights. Some customers do want to have an old-style, traditional, Diwali celebration and are also concerned about the artisans.

“I have always preferred earthen lamps rather than Chinese decorative items. This would give a fillip to the indigenous artists I believe. I have brought around 200 lamps,” a customer said.

There is still hope for the earthen lamps makers and sellers, as a large number of people have expressed over social media and other media channels that they would still like to have an eco-friendly traditional Diwali.

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Vendors selling earthen diyas | G Plus Photo

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