Pottery industry on verge of extinction

The number of potter men in rural Andhra Pradesh is dwindling day-by-day, due to lack of patronage among the youth towards the profession. While modern lifestyles are taking its toll on the clay-products made on potter-wheel, the artisans are leaving the art form in search of alternative livelihoods.

The family of 59-year-old potter man B. Nageswara Rao belonging to Hussainpalem near Machilipatnam is a classical example on how the art is now on the verge of extinction. Mr. Rao had inherited the profession from his father Panduranga Rao and became the finest potter man of the village, where he wants to continue in the art till his last breath.

“None of our three children is interested in the profession citing poor financial returns. They did not even try to learn it,” Mr. Nageswara Rao told The Hindu. In the tiny village of Hussainpalem, where dozens of families have shifted from the pottery to other odd jobs including agriculture works, Mr Nageswara Rao is the last man in the profession. “I can not see my village without a potter man. Giving a shape to my ideals to the clay on the potter-wheel continues to become a way of my life and hence I have no regrets,” he added.

Mr. Rao’s family says that learning the pottery demands very intelligence and a great command over speed of a moving object – potter wheel. “It’s an education that the youths can not easily understand. They should at least require a year to learn making very simple products such as earthen plates,” said Mr. Panduranga Rao.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:25:10 PM |

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