R. Sundaram

ERODE: He is the giver of light, creator of clay `Akal Vilakku' or `Deepam' to ward off ``evils'' from homes and bring cheers to people.

But, ironically, his life itself is blighted now, thanks to continuous rain which has hampered production of `Akal Vilakku'.

During the Tamil month of `Karthigai' most houses will be lit up with `Karthigai Deepam'. Hindus will have an Akal Vilakku in the evenings during the Karthigai month and in the mornings during the Margazhi month.

The lamp is produced in Bhavanisagar, Arachalure, Ayyampalayam and three other places. Every year during this season nearly one lakh lamps are produced.

In Avalpoondurai area they are produced by a group of pottermen. A pottermen Gurusamy told this correspondent: "I have been producing the Akal Vilakku for the last four decades. The production needs some experience and patience.''

The incessant rain in the last 15 days in the district has hit the lamp production which in turn has ruined the pottermen's lives.

They said clay lamps are not used even in temples now and in homes too brass or bronze lamps are preferred.