A village of ‘firecracker’ women in West Bengal

November 14th, 2007 - 10:21 am ICT by admin  

Nungi Village is today popular for its fine quality crackers all around the State. The fireworks prepared here have a high demand in different parts of the country, especially on Diwali when people burst firecrackers and illuminate earthen lamps at homes marking Lord Rama’s homecoming to his kingdom in Ayodhya.

Firework production has evolved as a cottage industry here offering employment such a vast umber of housewives and girls.

“Around 3,000 women are engaged. Of course, it is at a great risk but we do all this for our family,” said Sujata Das, one of the firework workers of Nungi Village.

Everyone learns the art of preparing fireworks by the elder women of the family.

However, after the ban in West Bengal on bursting firecrackers with loud sound, the business has suffered a major setback but the women workers have kept the tradition alive by focusing on making soundless or crackers of low intensity.

Crackers like “Chakri” ( a revolving cracker) and “Hawai” (rocket) are now the most favourite crackers produced here. Many people, however, complaint that local police still harass individuals even if they buy low-intensity crackers. It has affected the local business here.

“Prospective buyers are discouraged due to the fear of police nabbing them with the fire crackers. Consequently, the sale of fire crackers in our state is disappointing, as people hardly purchase them,” Samiran Das, a shopkeeper of the village.

“The small fire works like flower pots and sparklers made patiently by these women supplement the meagre family income. So it is an income generating activity,” said Basudeb Das, the owner of a small production unit. (ANI)

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