With only a few days left for Diwali, Indore's firecracker market is still waiting for the usual hustle-bustle of customers as wholesalers report a reduction of fifty per cent trade from other districts.
Manish Gera, a firecracker seller of three generations said that the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the business as there was a lot of fear among the people.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the business. There is a lot of fear among people that they will get infected. The few people who have come are wearing masks and sanitizers. There has been about a fifty percent reduction in subscriptions. This is a seasonal business and low business will affect us the whole year. Every year there are new types of firecrackers but this year, the lockdown has closed down factories," Gera said.
Others, however, say that they would not allow the pandemic to damper festive spirits.
"Almost all festivals so far which came in between the lockdown could not be celebrated properly, but now, the festival of Diwali is coming and COVID-19 has come down. We will celebrate Diwali grandly by bursting crackers. Business is expected to go well," said Shyam Aggarwal, a retail trader.
Commenting on the ban on firecrackers with pictures of gods and goddesses on them, Kailash Balchandani, Chairman of the Wholesale Cracker Association in Indore said, "We have not ordered firecrackers with photos of Gods or Goddesses. To a large extent, it has stopped." Diwali, the festival of lights will be celebrated across the country on November 14.