“With the non-availability of quality clay at cheap prices, the prices of pots have tripled in the last few years, Yerrolla Nagaiah, a potter, said.

Giving final touches to pots at his home in Nalgonda, Mr. Nagaiah said that they used to sell 10 pots at Rs. 50 three years ago, but the price has now been increased to Rs. 150 as their expenditure on raw material has gone up.

He said that earlier they used to get good quality red clay, which has no sand particles, without investing even a rupee.

The potter said the urbanisation and encroachment of tanks nearby, where quality soil is found, forced them to travel several kilometres to get clay. “We had to visit tanks located far away to test the quality of clay and then we had to hire a tractor or lorry to get it home after which, we would have to pay an amount of Rs. 10,000 that included transport charges and payment for clay for each trip, the potter said.

He urged the government to set up pot-making centres at all major towns to keep this form of art from getting redundant. “I had four children, but no one had taken this up as their profession due to the hard work involved and lack of profit, he maintained.

Another potter woman, K. Shankaramma from Tipparthy, also said that the government should initiate measures and schemes to support the potter community.