With the festival of lights just round the corner, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) students in Bhopal have taken up the cudgels to celebrate a ‘Swadeshi Diwali’ in the city to promote indigenous products against foreign, especially Chinese, decorative products.
The campaign launched under ‘Tooryanaad’—a Rajbhasha Karyanvyan Samiti (RKS) of MANIT students — aims to popularise earthen diyas (lamps) and other locally made products with twin motive to promoting Indian artisans and culture.
RKS general secretary Ashutosh Singh Thakur told HT that the campaign was based on a study report released by the ASSOCHAM a year ago, which suggested that 60% of the Diwali market had been captured by Chinese and other foreign products.
“This trend has hit the informal sector of India, especially potters, hard…We have also done our own survey by visiting the houses of potters. During the survey we found that sale of earthen lamps have decreased to 10-15%, which is a matter of concern,” Thakur said.
“Artificial lights and decorative pieces are also hitting the Indian culture and tradition,” the fourth year engineering student said.
Elaborating on the campaign, second year student of MANIT, Akash Jaiswal, said: “We are promoting our campaign in the schools by showing a documentary based on the sufferings of potters. We are also convincing them that instead of giving profits to businessmen of foreign countries, we should improve the financial condition of informal sector of India.”
As of now MANIT students have administered the ‘Swadeshi Diwali’ oath to students of 28 city schools. Now the enthusiasts are planning to take the campaign to the ministers and bureaucrats too.