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A year on, Chinese rakhis back in the market

A rakhi made in China begins from Rs 15 per piece, available in various varieties and modifications. Whereas, a rakhi made in India, made out of cotton thread, starts from Rs 5 onwards

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2018 10:10 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The annual festival of Raksha Bandhan, which commemorates the abiding ties between siblings of opposite sex, is marked by a simple ceremony in which a woman ties a rakhi, which may be a colourful thread, a simple bracelet, or a decorative string, around the wrist of her brother. (AFP Photo)

Last year, Deepak Savla, a rakhi seller at Ghatkopar, had customers telling him they do not want China-made rakhis. Same time, this year, he said customers seem to have forgotten about the ‘Indo-China tension’ that happened last year around the festive season when the Indian Army and China were involved in a face-off at Doklam, a place where India, China and Bhutan borders meet.

Thus, throughout the country, citizen groups had called for a ban on Chinese products ahead of most festivals last year.

“All the cartoon rakhis available in the market are made at a very low cost in China and sold at a huge margin in the Indian market. About 90% of children’s purchase is the China-made rakhis,” said Savla.

A rakhi made in China begins from Rs 15 per piece, available in various varieties and modifications. Whereas, a rakhi made in India, made out of cotton thread, starts from Rs 5 onwards.

Most rakhi vendors said that it is a ‘loss making’ factor for them since the China-made rakhis get easily damaged while transporting.

However, manufacturers and wholesalers said that cartoon rakhis are made in the city, with just add-ons, such as light emitting diode (LED) lights inserted in rakhis brought in from China.

“However, even today the highest demand in rakhis is for the cotton thread rakhi, which has wood and chandan (sandalwood) piece in it. The demand for rakhis made in Kolkata, which have a box packing, has fallen this year, and most people are now opting for rakhis made in Mumbai,” said Sanjay Jain, owner of a shop at Bhuleshwar.

Jayesh Dalvi, a rakhi seller at Dadar, said that cartoon rakhis available in market lately are made at Malad and Dharavi.

“Chinese products are very less in the market this year. Two years back, we used to get cartoon rakhis which were made in China but this year, there is no supply of such rakhis,” said Dalvi.

As per the Hindu calendar, Raksha Bandhan usually falls on the full moon day or Purnima of the Shravan month, this year it will be celebrated on Sunday (August 26).

First Published: Aug 26, 2018 10:10 IST