PUDUCHERRY: With incessant rains lashing the Union Territory for more than two weeks, Karthigai Deepam, a festival that brings cheers to potters has turned out to be a dull affair.
Ahead of the festival that falls on November 25, potters were looking forward to raking in huge profits by making and selling earthen lamps. But the torrential rains put paid to all their hopes as they couldn’t collect the clay from rivers, tanks and ponds. Besides, they have not been able to run the wheel to make the lamps and then dry them in the sun before firing them in the kiln. At least three to four days of sunshine is required for drying the lamps, said Alamelu of Koodapakkam.
There are nearly 200-250 families of potters living in the areas of Villianur, Pillaiyarkuppam, Koodapakkam, Thirukanur and Katterikuppam.
At least seven to eight different patterns and sizes of lamps are produced by them for the festival, every year. Around 75,000 to 80,000 lamps are produced normally, which are sold in Puducherry, Cuddalore and Villupuram districts at a rate ranging from `1 per lamp to `15.
People purchase lamps for their residences and shops and light them on the occasion. Vendors who make the purchases from the potters have not come for purchasing. Those who have purchased have not been able to sell them, as these are sold mostly on the roadside on pavements and pushcarts.
Normally every family earns around `8,000 to `10,000 during the festival, but this year they have been forced to forego it. In the light of the loss incurred, potters have urged the government to provide them some relief and a shed for pursuing their trade without getting affected by natural calamities.