Potters wheeled into penury

Potters wheeled into penury
Highlights

In spite of availability of refrigerators, people still prefer the chilled water from a clay pot to quench their thirst as well as for health reasons. With the temperature rising, the sale of clay pots increased. Several makeshift stalls have come up in various parts of the State to sell the clay pots of different sizes and shapes in cities and towns. 

Nizamabad: In spite of availability of refrigerators, people still prefer the chilled water from a clay pot to quench their thirst as well as for health reasons. With the temperature rising, the sale of clay pots increased. Several makeshift stalls have come up in various parts of the State to sell the clay pots of different sizes and shapes in cities and towns.

But the potters are struggling to make their both ends meet as their traditional occupation cannot fetch returns for them. The clay is trodden and kneaded to make it compatible to make pots. Later, they put the raw material in the potter’s wheel and make pots using their professional skill and give finishing touches with the help of their finger tips. They sell the pots and some special variety of the pots, which are called ranjans.

In Nizamabad, 150 families eke out a living making pots. A flurry of activity begins at Nandev Vada and Hamal Vadi with the onset of summer. The pots, which are described as refrigerators of the poor, and ranjans are getting ready to flood the markets. The potter’s family works hard to make at least 10 or 20 pots a day.

They bring the soil from Sirikonda, Dharpalli, Dichpalli and Indalvai and mould them into attractive pots and other earthenware vessels. Some of them are fixed with taps at the bottom for ease of the customer. People buy them as the water stored in them will remain not only cool but also good for health.

The potters are busy only for four months in a year. During the first month, they keep ready their tools and other inputs to make the pots. Later, they make the pots and put them up for sale. The sale of pots is going on Nizamabad, Kamareddy, Bodhan and Armoor. The potters, complain of competition from refrigerators and other electronic goods, for diminishing demand for pots.

Their seasonal business comes to a standstill when the temperature cools a bit leading to suspension of their activity. The potters have to sustain the whole year with the money earned during the season. A potter, Raju, complained of non-availability of good clay. The whole family toils hard to make at least 10 pots a day. He said that the community is protecting the age-old pottery since other opportunities to earn money are hard to come by.

Whatever they earn in four months should be suffice to feed the whole family for a year. “The money we earn is not commensurate with the hard work we put in. We have to sell them on roadsides. In fact, we are borrowing money on interest to sustain our activity,” said Raju.

By P Srikanth

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