National

Diwali lights

| Updated on October 29, 2018 Published on October 29, 2018

The festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated with pomp and glory across India. To mark the festival, people light diyas or oil lamps that are made of baked clay. 

In Mumbai, a small community of potters who live in Kumbharwada, Dharavi, make these lamps.

These potters, originally from Saurashtra, came to work in Dharavi due the favourable soil conditions around here. The trade has been functioning in Mumbai since 1912.

The peak time for the sale of diyas is during festivals like Dussehra and Diwali, when there is a high demand for diyas and pots. Potters make them in bulk and then sell to wholesalers who decorate it and sell it to the retail market.

The main challenge these potters face is the competition from China as the Chinese goods are cheaper than the ones they produce. Text and Photos: Paul Noronha

Published on October 29, 2018