With the Chhath festival on the doorstep, the demand for earthen pots has been growing.
Along with the domestic clay pots, various articles required for the festival manufactured in India are also making inroads in the Nepali market.
The earthen pots manufactured in India are doing brisk business in the bordering towns, while the domestically produced ones sell in greater numbers in the inner markets.
The sale of clay pots has seen on the rise in Janakpurdham, Mahendranagar Sakhuwa, Dhalkebar, Bateshwor, Dharapani, Birendrabazar, Sabaila, the main square at Sahidnagar, and Hatiya, among the main markets of Dhanusha.
The potters have become busy with the increasing demand for clay pots in the market. The demand for earthen pots is high during cultural festivals such as Chhath due to the traditional use of clay pots for various cultural rituals. It is considered auspicious to conduct the rituals using fresh clay pots.
"The sale of clay articles like lamp, dhakana, chaumukhe deep, pala, images of elephants has increased at various places and the bordering towns for the imminent Chhath festival," said Bishnu Lal Pandit, a pottery trader of Haraiya, Kshireshwornath Municipality-4.
He said that making clay pots was their primary means of subsistence in the past. But these days, their traditional profession has been displaced by the increasing use of plastic and metal pots.
Kamal Pandit, a potter at Sakhuwa, Kshireshwornath Municipality, complained that their traditional occupation had been under threat in recent years due to the growing use of plastic and metal pots. “For local potters, the festival period is the only time to earn whatever income for the whole year,” he said.
A set of earthen pots for the Chhath festival costs between Rs 200 to Rs 300, said Kanhaiya Pandit from Janakpurdham. Most local communities whose traditional occupation is pottery making are abandoning this profession as it is not profitable. "The traditional pottery-making business is under threat." – RSS