The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the lives of many upside down, with some having to shut shop because of lack of customers. Among those who have been facing problems in India are people who deal with items that are required during the festival season. With Janmashtami closing in, those who have been hit hard are potters who create clay pots for the Dahi Handi event.Also Read - Krishna Janmashtami 2020: Date, Time of Puja, Why The Day is Important And How It's Celebrated
One of the oldest potter community in Mumbai is struggling to make a living, as with not many people venturing outside due to the ongoing pandemic, there are hardly any customers to buy their clay pots. With celebrations all over the country expected to be low-key, the Dharavi potter community and potters in Kumbharwada are struggling to make ends meet.
According to Mid-day.com, there are around 550 potter families in Kumbharwada and they have been around since the time of the British. They have been making various items like diyas for Diwali and ‘devi ka ghat’ during Navratri, and they are the major makers of the clay pots used during Janmashtami. They also make small bowls, which are used to serve firni and rabdi in, during Ramzan, and even this too had taken a hit.
Whenever there is an event that is upcoming, the potters are joined by their families and friends in manufacturing and painting matkas, and it takes around three to four days to make one pot and another fortnight to paint them. With so much work and effort going into making the pots, it is sad that only a few are getting sold.
The months ahead also look bleak for the potter community, as looking at the current situation, there does not seem to be much hope of earning enough during the other big festivals, Navratri and Diwali, that are coming up. Lamenting about the problems they are facing, some shopkeepers are hopeful that business will pick up a few days before Janmashtami as people do not like to store them beforehand.