The anti-cracker campaigns by NGOs and educational institutes have ensured that only around Rs 4.5 crore worth of crackers have been sold this year, against the average sale of crackers of around Rs 10 crore every year, traders claim.
“The sale of crackers is witnessing decrease in sales every year. Children are losing interest owing to the schools holding anti-crackers campaigns. This year, sales have dropped 40%,” said Ashok Kumar, who has been supplying crackers for 20 years.
A cracker-seller in Chandigarh, Shiv Kumar, said, “People have limited their budget for cracker purchase, but we are expect sales to pick up.”
Sky shots in demand
Dazzling sky shots (crackers that are a combination of sound and light) are topping the charts as far as cracker sales are concerned this Diwali. For those wanting these to show-off their happiness at Diwali, expense certainly is the least important consideration as the cost shows. A packet with 1,000 sky shots will set you back by Rs 10,000.
“People are opting for sky shots that are combination of sound and light. Children find such crackers more attractive,” said Ashok Kumar cracker seller in Kurali. He added, “The sky shots are available from Rs 500 to Rs 10, 000. The cost depends on the number of shots and the quality of the cracker,” said Mohit, a cracker seller in SAS Nagar.
“A 500-shot cracker is available between Rs 1,500 and Rs 5,000,” added Shanker, another seller.
Other crackers in demand include an ‘Anar’ worth Rs 1, 000 for a single piece, while a small ‘anar’ is available in the market at the price of Rs 30. A single set of 5,000 crackers is priced around Rs 1,500.”
Deepika Padukone Phooljhari selling well
Fire-cracker manufacturers have put up photographs of Bollywood celebrities on their packets to attract customers. Packets sporting pictures of Deepika Padukone are a hit.
Though Bollywood beauties like Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Jacqueline Fernandez and Bipasha Basu are seen on the packets too, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has sky rockets carrying her picture.
Bullet bomb sporting pictures of Punjabi pop singer Honey Singh are selling well and cost between Rs 8 and Rs 10 per piece.
“Film stars command a huge fan following and thus images are used to help in the success of an enterprise,” said Ashok Kumar, a seller of cracker in Kurali, adding that business had been slow this year.