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Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Engineering diyas to keep family tradition alive

Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service
Mohali, November 9

Two city-based well-educated youths, who are making diyas during the ongoing festive season to preserve their family's traditional profession, are nothing short of a revelation.

However, this is the only time of the year when one can witness a spark in their — Nishant Kumar and Javed Kumar — eyes and their muddy arms spin the clay 24x7. With their courtyard filled with the Diwali stock, wading through it is not easy a task.

The brothers don't want to lose touch with the art of making diyas and thus, help their parents during the festive season. Nishant is a mechanical engineer while his brother Javed has recently taken admission to an ITI for an automobile engineering course. They said they help their father, Parveen Kumar, in making diyas while their mother paints them.

Nishant Kumar said they get Rs500 for 1,000 diyas in the wholesale market. However, the amount was not proportional to the raw material and their hard work, he said. Sometimes, they also sell diyas in retail at a roadside in Sector 7, Chandigarh.

Parveen Kumar, who moved to Mohali about 16 years ago from his native village, said he did not want his children to be illiterate and tried providing them with good education.

While the preferential shift from diyas to candles has picked up pace, the art of making diyas in on the cusp of extinction. The threat looms large over artisans so much so that despite increase in the price of raw materials, they sell their produce as per the old rates. Most of them are third or fourth-generation potters.

"Under any circumstance, we do not want to lose out on orders. This is the only season when we earn. We are trying new designs to get the business running throughout the year. However, the price of raw material is affecting us," said Parveen.

Sushma Sharma, a resident of Phase 7, prefers diyas to candles. "Diyas are not very expensive and buying them helps local artisans. I love the aroma of mud and they exude a feeling of our tradition."

from The Tribune

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