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Broken By The Pandemic, Craftsmen Now Eye Diwali With Hope
LUCKNOW || The pandemic has effected many, but the spirit of people this festive season has remained unharmed. Diya makers, local statue makers and other craftsmen have experienced a major hit in the past few months. In the hope of reviving their livelihood, they are working hard this Diwali.
As the Diwali season starts, people start to stock up on handicrafts, candles, furniture giving these local artisans their big boast in earnings. While the decorative items like Laxmi- Ganesh idols, lanterns, diyas, handcrafted jewellery, wall
hangings and many more see a rise in sale each year during Diwali, sellers and makers have doubts this year.
Mohammad Farooq, with his father, wife and 2 children sells crafted clay items at IT Chauraha. He can barely save any money from his earnings. He tells TNA, "I have changed location of my stall few times, but still there's no income. Both of my daughters (13 and 9) sells with us. Corona has left us with nothing. We are hoping that sale in Diwali will help us earn enough to feed my family every day."
When asked about his earning so far, he showed some bunch of coins. He tells us that he hails from a village named Basa Shareef lies in the district of Barabanki. He has been making diya and pots since last twenty five years. It is a hard time for survival of his family. He is hoping against hope Diwali.
Paras Nath, who sells Brass idols, bells, Arti Thali's, clay crafted items, says, "The wholesalers are not picking up new material from the manufacturers. Only limited stock is available, I am selling the stored items I had. Buying new stock is senseless as the old is not being sold." However, he has hope that Diwali will hike up his business. He further continues, "Corona has ruined our lives, especially of poor people like us. People are not buying because they aren't earning anything themselves, everyone is struggling to get back on track. How will anyone be able to buy if there's no income?", he rues.
"Hopefully Diwali sale will help us overcome these obstacles. We believe that Diwali will bring back the light we lost due to Corona," he says further, optimism writ large in his voice. Diwali means - 'Good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance,' a message we too hope lives up to its meaning this year.
-- Mohd Haris Siddiqui
(The writer is an Intern with The News Agency)