For the second consecutive year, Dharavi's potter community has suffered financially due to the curbs imposed by the state government on Dahi Handi celebrations.
Kamlesh Parmar, one of the wholesalers of Dharavi Kumbharwada said, "Earlier, we used to receive big export orders. This year, there wasn’t much demand. However, it was far better than last year. We were at least able to sell pots to the local retailers."
Kumbharwada manufactures around 700 pots daily. Well aware of the pandemic, less pots were manufactured this time. The price of the pots has also fallen. "The rates have been reduced as the pots were bought mainly by those celebrating the festival in their housing society or small lane," he said. Dharavi houses around 500 potter families, who have been residing here since British rule.
Over the years, Dahi Handi has emerged as a favourite cultural sport, often patronised by political parties and its clubs. Boys and girls, called Govindas, form a human pyramid to break a pot (handi) held by a thick rope at a certain height. The group that succeeds in breaking the pot is awarded a prize money.
However, the Maharashtra government banned the celebrations on Janmashtami, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. To which, the BJP and MNS have raised an objection.
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