Traditional saki nose-dives

Dennartari village in Bajali district of Lower Assam always wore a cheerful look during the festive season – Durga Puja to Diwali. But this year, the exuberance is totally missing.

The village has centuries-old tradition of clay works. And more than 100 families of the village have been earning their livelihood by selling their clay-crafts.

The festive season has always been the ‘peak season’ of the clay craftsmen of Dennartari village. Traders from far flung areas in Lower Assam visit them, and they make quick money selling saki (earthen lamps or diya) during Diwali.

But, the business is totally lackluster this year; there is no enthusiasm at all. The traders are also not visiting in large numbers. And the result — the clay craftsmen are worried.

“If the traders don’t come in large numbers, we are not going to get money. How are we going to survive if the traders don’t buy from us this year?” one of them said.

The clay craftsmen are still unable to understand whether it is because of the notorious COVID19 pandemic that their booming business has suddenly turned lackluster.

“Probably people are scared about Coronavirus, and they are not going to celebrate Diwali this year. But, we are ruined,” one of them said, adding that their festive season sale sustain their livelihood all through the year.

In addition to making saki (earthen lamps), they also make curd pots, flower tubs and several other clay items, which are used for religious functions or decoration. But, sale of saki (earthen lamps) would always get them a bumper sale.

People in Lower Assam, especially in the Bajali area, always prefer to light the traditional earthen lamps during Diwali.

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