NALBARI, Oct 25 - With the festival of lights round the corner, the traditional potters of Charia under Bahjani area and Kulbeel Hirapara near Chamata in Nalbari district are busy in making earthen lamps to light up the homes of lakhs of people on that festive evening. To prevent the use of cheap Chinese electric lamps, the indigenous Hira potters of those villages have made more than ten lakh earthen lamps and have started selling them in nearby markets besides undertaking house-to-house sales. The potters of the tiny Charia village said that this season is very precious to them since they get ready for Diwali celebrations right from Durga Puja days.
Diwali and Magh Bihu celebrations are good periods for their business. During rest of the year, their business is nominal, said Phulu Das and Padumi Das, two skilled potters of the village. According to them, the female members and school- going children are engaged in making the earthen wares. The male members of their families remain busy in collecting the raw materials and selling the finished products in different markets.They stated that the special quality clay used to make those products is brought from Tetelia and Agyathuri near Guwahati at a cost of Rs 14,000 for each truck-load of clay. As the carriage charges of the quality clay has now become expensive, pottery products have also become expensive, the potters alleged.
The potters of Charia village have continued their business for generations. In Kulbeel Hirapara, a total of 45 families of Hira community have been engaged in this traditional profession for generations. According to the villagers, they have made more than four lakh earthen lamps for the festival of lights. Their products are already dominating the markets of entire Paschim Nalbari areas. However, the potters, who have been decorating the homes of lakh of families with their earthen products, are now facing acute financial crisis.The government has not taken any step to help the potters who have been trying to keep alive the age- old tradition.