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Friday, May 24, 2024

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Friday, May 24, 2024

Vocal for Local

By the editor

The Government of India encourages skilled artisans to devote themselves to their profession and compete with others in producing good quality products so that they will be able to earn  with dignity and at the same time improve their trade. If they persist and accept challenges that come their way they will surely succeed. At the same time, the government on its part extends help to these entrepreneurs and introduces steps and measures in encouraging locals to opt for locally-made products. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) stresses on training and depending on local raw materials. Pottery household and cottage industry is one such venture which has potential for expansion since local markets are within easy reach. Demand from outside the country is also rising and hence for expansion it is a good sign.

Export of ceramics and glassware saw a historical rise of 36.17 per cent in September 2020 over September 2019 and the trend is positive. Raw material for pottery is clay which is available in plenty in various parts of India. When clay is mixed with water in the right proportion it is suitable to be modeled into almost any shape and then dried in the sun. Objects made of baked clay are called ceramics which comes from the Greek word keramos which means potter’s earth. Ceramic vessels and containers are called pottery. Archaeologists use ceramic scraps in their research to find out about life in ancient civilization.Earthenware pots may be full of very small holes undetected by human eyes and consequently water or any liquid contained in it will slowly leak out until itis empty and thus cause big loss. After glass was discovered, potters found that these tiny holes could be effectively filled up by covering the pot surfacewith a thin layer of glass and this layer of
glass is called a glaze. Pot-making at the earlier stages took a long time and so potters could not earn much but through innovations and persistent efforts they invented the potter’s wheels which proved beneficial. The latest electric potter’s wheels are a great boon to artisans because it increases production besides saving time and energy. Work which may take up to three days by the traditional method may bedone in less than 10 hours with the help of electric potter’s wheels.

Thus a potter by using electric potter’s wheels can produce five-fold and thus can earn quite a good income. Earthen pottery and terracotta are very popular in Indian households since prices are reasonable and eco-friendly. Electric potter wheels produce on an average two crore daily earthen cups called kulhads  which are sold at 400 railway stations. There are about four crore potters in the country and under potter’s Empowered Scheme their monthly income has been enhanced from Rs 3,000 to about Rs 12,000 per month by using electric potter’s wheels. Clay soil of certain parts of the state is favourable for making pottery and cheap earthen cups and plates which can be easily disposed of without causing any damage at all to the environment.

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