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Cashing in on solar spectacle

When millions of eyes gaze up at the sky on early Wednesday morning to watch the century’s most spectacular event,solar eclipse,the sellers of solar glasses in the city are a happy lot.

Written by Garima Mishra | Pune |
July 22, 2009 4:36:07 am

When millions of eyes gaze up at the sky on early Wednesday morning to watch the century’s most spectacular event,solar eclipse,the sellers of solar glasses in the city are a happy lot. In the past one week,the glasses sold like hot cakes.

“Till now,we have sold more than 850 solar glasses out of which 300 were sold in the last two days,” said Shrirang Pandurang Zodage,sales assistant at International University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA). Over 1,000 glasses were sold in IUCAA alone. According to him,most of the customers of these glasses,which are priced at Rs 18,are youngsters and students.

Twenty-two-year-old Manasi Shah picked up three solar glasses. “I already had two pair of solar glasses at home. But since it is not advisable to watch solar eclipse with old glasses,I bought new ones. I will be watching the event with my husband and a friend,who are also astronomy enthusiasts like me.”

Sumita Tumne,proprietor of the Eureka Science Centre,Tilak Road,attributes the increase in sale of glasses to the awareness created through various sources of information about the astronomical phenomenon. Eureka sold more than 600 solar glasses in the last few days. Priced at Rs 15,around 250 glasses were supplied to two city schools.

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Uday Pawar,an engineer,has been waiting to watch the rare event with a group of his friends for a long time now. The group has purchased 14 solar glasses from the Eureka Science Centre.

Treasure Island that supplies solar goggles to primary schools in Pune and Mumbai,however has recorded less than expected sales. According to Tahera Ebrahim of Treasure Island,it could be mainly because of the rainy season and various myths about the eclipse. However,she is looking forward to the next eclipse,which is due in January 2010 to make up for the loss.

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