Vijayawada

Pot vendors facing the lockdown heat

A pot seller waiting for buyers in Vijayawada.  

“Place this pot on a sturdy near the window. The breeze will help keep the water cooler. During the hot months you can even wrap a clean moist cloth around this for quicker cooling,” says Malleswari Annavarapu, a vendor looking for buyers for her earthen pots on BRTS Road near Machavaram Down.

This summer is proving to be harsher for pot vendors like Malleswari who buy the eco-friendly traditional ‘water cooler’ from a wholesale market in Kotturu Tadepalli and sell them in city every summer. “COVID-19 has wreaked havoc this year,” she says ruefully, explaining how the pottery industry has suffered a blow over the years due to increasing popularity of modern water filters and also because of non-availability of sand.

“There is a lack of river sand, clay and experienced persons in procuring the raw material,” she says.

The peak summer months of March, April and May usually bring a smile on her face as “people are slowly drifting towards use of earthenware in their attempt to make small changes at home to ward off environmental pollution and I find a good number of buyers for my pots.”

Malleswari’s immediate worry is the ₹25,000 loan she availed from a private money lender to invest in purchase of the pots that have not been finding buyers, thanks to the lockdown.

“Every season I sell almost 1,000 pots by this time, but this time, I haven’t found even 200 buyers so far,” she says and hastens to add: “I am not blaming people for not buying. What can they do? The limited time they get to move out of their houses in the mornings is spent in buying the essential stuff. Who would give priority to a pot?”

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 10:23:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/pot-vendors-facing-the-lockdown-heat/article31380185.ece

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