Youngsters and elders are all enthusiastically headed to Farrukhnagar-Asalatpur village, at the outskirts of Loni in Ghaziabad, to purchase locally made non-branded Indian fireworks to celebrate Diwali.
Fireworks manufacturers are upbeat this season and attribute heavy sales to Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India campaign and also the prevailing sentiment against Chinese products.
The small village, located barely 10km from the national capital, is abuzz as sales have picked up despite Diwali still a week away.
Nearly 80 manufacturers have put up stalls in fields while the items are prepared in closed plots and makeshift settlements behind them.
“There is a ban on Chinese crackers and the PM’s Make in India is being heeded by a majority of the citizens, more so after the recent tiff with Pakistan. Last year, there were hardly any customers a week before Diwali. This year, I have to skip lunch regularly as customers keep arriving. As the customers’ sentiments are high, we have named several fireworks ‘Namo’ and a popular brand ‘Jio.’ These items are in huge demand,” Mohammed Rahim, a fireworks manufacturer, said.
A majority of the brands include all-time popular items such as coloured Phuljhari (sparklers), multi-coloured wands and Anaar (flowerpot crackers). Manufacturers say such items are popular among children and sell the highest.
“Apart from these, we have manufactured new items such as a generator-Anaar with flash. This item emits multiple colours and goes off and on, like a camera flash. Then, we have multi-coloured Anaar, ultra-coloured wands, Phuljharis and newly prepared ultra rockets that soar as high as 500 metres and spread colours before bursting,” Rahim said.
Customers also prefer buying fireworks from Farrukhnagar as the manufacturers offer large discounts and also entertain bargaining.
“I have come here with a list of nearly 20 items that my children prepared. At Farrukhnagar, manufacturers offer almost 60%-70% discount while retailers in markets offer 10%-20%. For about ₹1,000-₹1,500, I have got a bag packed with different fireworks. Apart from this, our purchase will also help the poor workers. This is why I have been buying fireworks from here for the last five years,” Narendra Kaliya, a Delhi resident, said.
Apart from sales over the counter, the fireworks from Farrukhnagar are also sold in bulk to retailers and wholesalers from Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh. Most of the items sold at Farrukhnagar are handmade and prepared in-house.
“I find it a very interesting place to visit. You can stand for hours and look for the item of your choice. This year, after the surgical strikes, I will celebrate Diwali with lots of fireworks. I have come here with a group of friends on bikes and will go back with large cartons filled with fireworks. The prices also suit our pockets,” Ankur Chauhan of Noida Sector 45, said.