Kendrapara, Feb 19 (LocalWire) Diya-makers in and around the coastal district of Kendrapada are all bucked up for Shivratri on Friday.
The diya-makers are putting in their best to prepare diyas of various sizes and colours for devotees.
“Nobody is as busy as the diya-makers of Kumbharasahi”, Sarat Behera, a diya making expert said.
“With an experience of two decades, all my family members are engaged in diya making. Diwali and Shivratri are the peak seasons for diya-makers in our area”, he said.
“Some Shiva temple management members have placed orders for big Diyas, usually kept at the top of the temple during the festival”, said Sarat.
“Apart from diya making, we also make clay images of deities to earn a living during the offseason”, he said.
Two decades ago, over 150 families were practicing this art.
Today, it has shrunk to around 80 Among these, the number of families who solely dependent on this work is less”, said Sankar Behera, (65) an artisan of Kumbharasahi.
Women are largely engaged in colouring the diyas. Fabric paint is used to colour. While the coloured diyas range from Rs10 to Rs100, the traditional ones range from Rs2 to Rs20, said Ashok Behera, another diya maker of Kumbharasahi.
The shortage of skilled labour acts as the biggest hurdle in their business. Some of us, who are still practicing the craft are doing so only to keep the hereditary art-form alive.
Otherwise, one cannot make both ends meet in this profession, added Mahendra Behera while baking Diyas.