Amid the ban imposed on firecrackers, sellers across Mumbai stated that there has been an increased demand for earthen lamps, kandeels, and decorative items ahead of Diwali this year.
"The demand for lamps and kandeels is at least 20 per cent higher this year. People are buying lamps in bulks so that they can light it throughout the premises of their houses" Dinkar Rawal, general secretary Association of Hawkers and Retailers, Mumbai told FPJ.
Rawal added that generally people wouldn't invest in terracotta lamps as much they would invest in electric bulbs for decoration, but this year there has been an increased demand for these lamps.
"It's not just terracotta lamps, the earthen lamps and diyas are also in heavy demand. Many sellers have already run out of their stocks" Rawal stated.
The increase in demand for lamps has made the sellers heavily optimistic about this, especially when they had a dampened business season during the Ganpati and Dussehra.
"We had to go through a really hard time in the last five months of the pandemic now we are hopeful that during Diwali we would be able to revive our losses," said Ram Shinde, a lamp seller in Dadar.
"Due to the ban the air pollution level will be controlled. People have also realised that burning crackers could turn out to be fatal for COVID19 patients who are presently under treatment this is why there are resorting to safer options this time" stated Asif Khan another Dadar-based dealer.
However, Diya makers of Dharavi's Kumbharwada stated that there has been a decline in order from buyers outside Mumbai. Every year whole sellers from outside Mumbai would place orders from them in bulk, but due to the pandemic this year, there has been a fall in demand.
"Demand for outside buyers have fallen by 90 per cent this year. Most of our clients outside Mumbai and Maharashtra have decided to buy local products this year instead of procuring them from Mumbai" said Ranchod Das Tank, a fourth-generation sculptor based in Kumbharwada.
"However the demand has risen in Mumbai, so we don't have much to worry about this time" added Tank.
Meanwhile, customers complained that realising that there has been an increased demand, sellers are charging them exorbitantly.
"They are charging us Rs 50 for each earthen diyas which is double the amount," said a customer spotted at Malad market.
"The prices have increased this year but we can't do anything. All of us have suffered heavy losses and the sellers also don't have any other option as they are only trying to recover their losses" stated Siddharth Sain a software engineer.
"This year instead of buying crackers my children and I will decorate our whole apartment with Diyas, we will be following an eco-friendly Diwali this year and hopefully will continue the trend next year as well" stated Sharmishta Patankar, a self-employed resident of Mumbai.