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Smell of earth keeps them going

GOLLAPUDI SRINIVASA RAO
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Creating wonders: A potter and his family making earthern ‘diyas' on the wheel in Adilabad for this Diwali. — PHOTo: G. RAJESHWARA CHARY
Creating wonders: A potter and his family making earthern ‘diyas' on the wheel in Adilabad for this Diwali. — PHOTo: G. RAJESHWARA CHARY

As the adage ‘old is gold' goes, people in large numbers are preferring earthen diyas known as ‘Pramidalu' (in Telugu), instead of artificial lights, for Deepavali, going by the heavy demand for them.

With only a few days to go, potters are busy making small earthen diyas to meet the demand from people of tri-cities of Warangal, Hanamkonda and Kazipet. “There is a good demand for clay diyas. There are about 10 road-side shops which sell clay saucers, which do not meet the demand for want of artisans,” explained Choppadandi Sarangapani, an expert potters.

According to him, the demand for clay items is on the rise due to increased awareness in people about health consciousness. Doctors, particularly naturopaths, advise their patients to eat food cooked in earthenware, as they are known to preserve nutrients in vegetables or other items.

Among the most sought-after items from potters include Ranzans – huge clay pots, which are used in the summer and the small clay saucers during Deepavali festive season. It may seem ironical that as people now prefer to cultivate old and forgotten tastes, artisans, who nurture their tastes, are on the wane. There are not many potters left who continue to practice their vocational trade anymore.

Mr. Sarangapani said there are 15 trained artisans who still make and supply pots and other clay items to the road-side vendors. With the changing lifestyles and declining patronage, many potters have opted out of their vocation. Meanwhile, to make a fast buck, potters in the town are busy making as many clay diyas as possible soon after Dasara.

GOLLAPUDI SRINIVASA RAO in Warangal

As the trend of traditional ‘diyas' catches up this Diwali, potters try to make a fast buck