World Cup boom for Firozabad bangles
Firozabad bangle makers have hit a gold mine with the current World Cup cricket fever boosting the demand for specially designed 'cricket bangles' and kangan (bracelets).india Updated: Mar 30, 2011 11:40 IST
Firozabad bangle makers have hit a gold mine with the current World Cup cricket fever boosting the demand for specially designed 'cricket bangles' and kangan (bracelets).
"Right now there's tremendous demand for our World Cup cricket bangles from all parts of India, particularly from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh," Ashwini Gupta, Firozabad's biggest bangle supplier, said.
One set of four to five multi-colour bangles in kangan style costs around Rs.70, Gupta said.
"We arrange for the designs from various sources and pass them on to the bangle makers," Gupta added.
Gupta said: "We give the names and ideas. Some of the popular brands of bangles go by film names like 'Pavitra Rishta' and 'Bhabhi ki Churiyan'. The market is big. Firozabad has continued to maintain its number one position as the Glass City.'"
Praveen Agarwal, a computer professional, said: "Designs are also coming from Maharashtra. One particular design has the logo of the cricket World Cup along with the Indian flag."
According to Narendra Sharma of Gajanan Bangle store, "the World Cup is a great opportunity to show our skills and creative imagination. Our workmen are fantastic."
The bangles are available all over Firozabad and in neighbouring Agra.
"Stores in Sadar Bazar and Raja ki Mandi are doing a brisk business selling cricket bangles," according to another supplier, Mahesh Agarwal.
Rashid, a bangle dealer, said that soon after the World Cup his business will be ready for the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket championship commencing April 8.
The Firozabad glass units were badly hit after the 1993 Supreme Court order to close down polluting industries in the Taj Trapezium Zone - the 10,400 sq.km area around the Taj Mahal in Agra that comprises over 40 protected monuments including the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, in addition to the Taj.
But after the Gas Authority of India provided natural gas through its pipeline, the glass industry has seen a revival and is now competing with the world's best glass units in terms of quality and quantity of production.
Also called "Suhag Nagri," Firozabad has the largest concentration of glass units.
Almost 80 percent of India's bangles are produced by the local industries. The demand from Pakistan, Bangladesh and some other countries is also very high.
But none of the raw material needed for glass manufacturing is locally available, such as gas, soda ash, silica sand and chemicals.
"But on the strength of skilled hands over generations, Firozabad continues to be the leader in this sector," said Shyam, a successful industrialist from Shikohabad, 10 km from Firozabad.