November 11, 2020 10:59:36 pm
DIWALI PREPARATIONS have come as an opportunity to strengthen financial status for many women who have had to deal with loss of jobs or even prolonged periods of idleness in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some are trying their hands at diya decorations while others at home-made faral (sweets and snacks).
Sophia Borate’s interest in art and craft led her to paint diyas and make paper quilled tea light holders. As the orders increased, however, she required an additional pair of hands and got help from women nearby. “I started Indie Craft this year and, since I am a member of the ‘Women of Wonder Telegram’ group, it became easier to spread the word. The diyas were made and painted by local artisans, but paper quilled tea light holders required precision and patience. Women around my area who have not been asked to return to work or are in college helped me out with the orders,” Borate said.
With their help, Borate managed to make one-of-a-kind pieces and, now with Diwali approaching, is running out of her stock. “The demand is high and was at its peak a few days ago. With the stock running out, I am getting all the help from these women,” she said.
Taking pride in her besan ka laddu, Archana Ballal, who works at a security firm in the city, said she and her two sisters-in-law took it upon themselves to make Diwali faral at home.
“My sisters-in-law are housewives and, this year, soon after Dussehra, we thought we’ll make faral at home. What began as a small-scale venture turned to overwhelming demand in our locality,” she said.
Ballal said apart from assorted faral items of chiwda, shankarpali and chakli, an ubtan mix made by one of her sisters-in-law sold like hot cakes.
“People use ubtan for cleansing as a tradition days before Diwali and the mix was bought from us by local residents. Our idea not only kept us busy, but we also made some income,” Borate said.
Vasanti Chavan of Ruchi Spice and Foods, Kirkatwadi, said as her local business suffered the brunt of the pandemic, she and a small group of ladies had taken to Diwali faral preparations. “Around six to eight home-makers joined in to prepare bulk orders. With premium quality in both faral and packaging, not only are we able to distribute goodies, but this also helps local households,” Chavan said.
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