Bihar's potters fear loss of business to plastic lamps

      Potters in Bihar fear a loss of business ahead of the Diwali as customers shift their loyalties to plastic lamps over their earthen products. For centuries people have been welcoming Lakshmi - the Goddess of wealth by lighting up earthen lamps outside their houses during the Diwali night but now with the changing times, this tradition is slowly fading away. Many people have now started opting for the less cumbersome and glitzy plastic lamps. Potters, who eagerly await the onset of the festive season when their sales usually surge, are lamenting a lack of enthusiasm from the buyers this year. "Due to the rise in demand of plastic items the demand of pottery products has decreased. Earlier there were earthen plates, glasses and cups but now people do not use them as they have found a substitute. Our business is suffering huge losses and will come to end someday leaving us unemployed," said Yogendar Pandit, a potter. The grim situation has forced many potters to take up some other profession for a living. "If we don't work elsewhere, our children will die of hunger. Normally we are able to manage only 50 rupees to 60 rupees. The government is not taking any notice of the condition of the potters there is no demand for the earthen lamps," said Surinder Pandit, another potter.

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