When Lord Ram returned after 14 years of vanvaas, Ayodhya residents lighted 'diyas' to celebrate his homecoming. Now 'diyas' are synonymous with Diwali. These traditional earthen lamps, sold as low as three rupees a piece, are built by craftsmen who are passionate about this. Though, a few challenges remain in the survival, both of their livelihood, as well as the craft.
This is the story of Potters Colony in west Delhi's Uttam Nagar. Here, the diya makers have their hopes flickering in the light of rising costs, competition from Chinese crackers, and a few legal tussles regarding their kilns.
The potters work in cramped spaces, with no proper air circulation. Most of the times, their houses double up as the workshop. This is the reason why most of the kids don't want to live in this place.
But there's a conflict of ideas. The senior potters, with established setups, would like their children to pick up pottery as their profession. The tradition must continue, they feel. But will this idea spark the imagination of the next generation? That remains to be seen.
(Text by : Aaqib Raza Khan)