Jamshedpur The cheapest article that makes Diwali bright, ‘earthen oil lamps’ ( Diya), are losing their sheen as they face stiff competition from Chinese dazzling lights, which have flooded the markets.
The consumers are more in the mood to buy artificial lights or call it electric bulbs for celebrating Diwali than having dozens of diyas to spread the light at home, office and in shops.
With electrical articles being available in various forms and designs the consumers are but naturally drawn towards them and it is very possible to take a call of something which is durable and fashionable, too.
People say the cheap Chinese bulbs are preferred over the traditional earthen lamps for their wide range and designs as varied as grapes and colourful flowers.
“We are buying Chinese lights because the cost of oil has risen. Mini bulbs and other electrical articles though take out more money from your wallet than what it requires for a dozen odd earthen lamps but again, the former is one time investment with maintenance down the years, though.
And secondly, unlike earthen lamps bulbs don’t require additional things like oil. So, taking a comparative look it is better to go for electrical articles than earthen lamps,” Shraddha Agrawal, housewife residing in Jugsalai.
In the last many years the manufacturers of the earthen lamps had not faced what they have had experienced in the last two years. And, this resulted in the increase of about five to seven times in the prices of the diyas.
“People want comfort they don’t want to taken pains of putting oil and buring the diyas which are a part of the tradition. For them it’s easily to switch on and brighten their homes.
Moreover the input cost of the earthen lamps have grown to such an extent that it has virtually become impossible for the manufacturer to sell a dozen odd lamps for a single digit cost.
We are facing the brunt from both sides,” said Takeshwar Nath, 56, an entrepreneur with three decades of experience in running the business of earthen lamps.
He said that only few lower middle class people are still the buyers of earthen lamps and others have migrated towards the hi tech market.
On the other hand traders of Chinese decorative items are excited to see the overwhelming response from the consumers.
“We are into this business of Chinese lights and every year during Diwali we have new designs. This year, we have introduced the traditional diyas, candle shaped lights, which is gaining popularity here.
It is not very costly which makes our sales good,” said Ladhuram Sharma,a shop owner. While a coloured-wax Chinese diya decorated with clay roses is available for 15 rupees, an Indian one ranges between 20-25 rupees.