Hyderabad: Fifty-year-old Nampally Raju, who lives in Amberpet, has been in the diya-making business all his life. While earlier it was a flourishing business, traditional earthen lamps have fallen out of favour among Diwali shoppers. However, sustaining the footprints of his ancestors, he is busy making colourful diyas with whatever limited resources he has.
“Making diyas and earthen pots has been our sole business for ages,” shares Nampally Raju. “Until a few years back, me and my brother used to make over a lakh diya each year. We would sell it to the wholesalers close to Diwali. Slowly, many potters from Kolkata and Rajasthan started coming to the city ahead of the festival. Their diyas were more attractive and colourful, that really affected our business,” he adds.
Now, it seems the traditional earthen diyas have also started to lose the battle to the fancy Chinese lights.
“From the time people started purchasing these lights for Diwali, our business was hit severely. Many local diya-makers shut shop,” he says.
Now, there are only two in the Amberpet area and the number of diyas made by them too has now been reduced to just a few hundreds. The cost of making the clay diya is also constantly increasing, the diya makers lament. “We used to make one diya in less than Re 1 before, which has doubled now. But, people who come to buy the diyas still bargain for it. That hasn’t changed,” he laughs.
Busy making the diyas for this festive season, Nampally Raju shares he might be the last in the family to continue the business.
“My sons have seen how difficult it is to run our kitchen in this business. They are all studying and do not want to join this line. I understand their concerns, but it saddens me that this art is dying a painful death. I, however, will continue to make the diya for as long as I can,” he concludes.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.