Demand for earthen pots increases with upcoming Chhath festivalWith plastic and metal pots becoming a preferred choice of consumers, many traditional pottery makers have abandoned the craft putting the future of the profession at risk.
The demand for earthen pots has been growing in Madhesh Province with the approaching of the Chhath festival. Along with the domestic clay pots, other paraphernalias required for the festival that are manufactured in India are also making inroads in the Nepali market.
While the sales of earthen pots from India are high in the bordering towns, the domestically produced ones are selling in greater numbers in the inner markets.
The sale of clay pots has seen a rise in Janakpurdham, Mahendranagar Sakhuwa, Dhalkebar, Bateshwor, Dharapani, Birendrabazar, Sabaila, the main square at Sahidnagar and Hatiya, among other major markets of Dhanusha.
With the increasing demand for clay pots in the market, the potters have become busy fulfilling orders. The demand for earthen pots is high during festivals as traditionally clay pots are used for various rituals and especially in Chhat, using fresh clay pots is considered auspicious.
Bishnu Lal Pandit, a pottery trader of Haraiya in Kshireshwornath Municipality, whose family has been in the business of making clay pots for generations, is elated with the rise in sales of local clay items during the festive season.
“The sales of clay products like lamps, dhakanas, chaumukhes, palas, statues of elephants have increased at various places and the bordering towns for the upcoming Chhath festival," said Bishnu Lal Pandit, a pottery trader of Haraiya in Kshireshwornath Municipality.
A set of earthen pots for the Chhath festival costs between Rs 200 to Rs 300.
However, a majority of the local communities whose traditional profession is making clay products are abandoning the profession as it is not profitable and people now prefer buying plastic and metal pots for their durability, putting the traditional pottery business under threat.
Kamal Pandit, a potter at Sakhuwa, Kshireshwornath Municipality, complained that their traditional profession is under threat in recent years due to the growing use of plastic and metal pots.
“Our traditional profession has been displaced with the increasing use of plastic and metal pots,” said Pandit. “The festival period is the only time for local potters to earn whatever income for the whole year.”