To bring light in the houses of potters and gardeners in Bhopal and to register their protest against China, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) students have started a campaign called ‘Swadeshi Diwali.’
Students are visiting different places with the facts on the economy of the Diwali market and inspiring people to adopt traditional ways of celebrating the festival of lights.
They have asked people to use perishable decorative items and ‘Diyas’ (earthen lamps) to deck up their houses instead of decorative fairy lights and Chinese bulbs.
A MANIT student, Akash Jaiswal, said, “We have done a study on the financial status of potters. Around 75-80% of earnings of potters depend upon the Diwali market. If they fail to sell enough number of lamps, celebrating Diwali becomes a farfetched thing for them. It becomes difficult for them to even sustain themselves.”
In the study, the students also found out that some villagers grow flowers before Diwali to increase their earnings and they come to the city to sell it so they can buy crackers and sweets for their kids. “However, due to increase in use of artificial flowers, we are promoting natural flower decorating items as after decoration, they can be used as manure,” said Vikram Thakur, another student.
The college students are visiting houses of IAS and IPS officers and politicians to urge them to help in this campaign.
The students have also launched a signature campaign in which people have taken a pledge of celebrating Swadeshi Diwali. As of now, around 400 people have signed up.
Another student, Ajay Chaouhan, said, “Besides marketing, students are also gifting diyas. A large number of families of faculty members and other staff reside on the campus so we have taken permission from the administration to allow potters to sell their items inside MANIT.”