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Deepa making competition held in Sambalpur village ahead of Diwali

Phanindra Pradhan

Sambalpur, Oct 25: With the festival of light, Diwali is round the corner, the Andhari village of Kayakud gram panchayat in tribal dominated Jujumura block of the district organised a unique earthen deepa (lamp) making competition of traditional potters with an objective to encourage the traditional pottery profession, drawing attention of many.

As many as 12 potters from different villages of the block took part in the competition which was held in the village recently. Fifty-year-old Jayadev Rana from village Jujumura emerged as winner by making 64 earthen deepa in 20 minutes.

“The villagers here should be appreciated for organising such a unique competition. I am happy to see such a large number of people, who thronged to witness the potter scooping out earthen deepa from the wheel. At a time, when the traditional pottery profession is on the verge of extinction due to the dwindling business, the competition is an encouragement for those who have still clung to making the earthenware from the wheel,” said the winner.

The Andhari villagers had informed all the traditional potters of the nearby villages before the competition. They had arranged three potter’s wheels for the competition. Each potter, who participated in the competition, was given 20 minutes time for making the earthen deepa. Jayadev made the highest number of deepas in 20 minutes and won the trophy. Similarly, while Niranjan Rana emerged second by making 58 deepas, Bidyadhar Rana made 48 deepas in 20 minutes and stood third in the competition.     

An organiser, Sanjib Biswal said pottery is a part of our art and culture and that’s the reason, potters continue to be in this profession although it no longer is profitable.  Even during Diwali, they are not getting proper returns as people are getting more inclined towards fancy candles and electric lighting. But some people have still clung to the traditional profession despite the dwindling market. The competition was an effort to encourage them and even encourage the people to buy clay deepa to keep the potter’s wheel turning, he said.

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