Champahati, one of the largest wholesale firecracker hub in West Bengal, which was badly affected due to lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years is gradually slowly limping back to business.
Champahati: Champahati, one of the largest wholesale firecracker hub in West Bengal, which was badly affected due to lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years is gradually slowly limping back to business.
Several shopkeepers and sellers took their own lives out of desperation during the COVID time and the market is still struggling to get customers, according to Sudhanshu Das a trader and organiser of the Champahati Fireworks Union. “The condition of the market was very bad for two years due to Covid-19, the business was completely ruined.
Some of the workers who manufacture firecrackers have committed suicide. The market is operational after two years, but no customers have arrived,” Das said.
“The price of chemicals used in the manufacture of firecrackers has also skyrocketed. So a product which was priced at Rs. 2 now costs Rs 20. There is a demand for different types of products, but many people prefer green crackers, which we also provide while keeping the environment in mind. At the time of Covid-19, our union supported approximately 200 individuals affiliated with this firm,” he added.
AK Maitra a customer who has been regularly buying from the market said: “In the years 2020 and 2021 of Covid-19, this market was closed. This year, the market has seen a little light.”
The market stocks more of products made by locals in comparison with foreign make ones and according to people the usp of the place is that one can get products at almost for six times less than what is availaible at other places.
However, shopkeepers claim that with the increase in material costs and due to numerous regulations on production they are unable to produce locally.
“Phool-jadhis” and parachutes are among the most sought-after firecrackers in the market.
“Every family has a firecracker factory that they build themselves, which is why we come here to buy firecrackers for 10-15 years. The cost of each item has risen. The crowd in the market this year is much lower than in previous years,” another customer said.
“I’ve been involved in this industry for the past ten years.” For two years, the entire market remained closed, which caused many problems; however, there is some hope that business will improve, as customers are arriving. Customers are bargaining over the price of firecrackers, which has risen somewhat. This is our source of income.
We are pleased that this firm employs between 40 and 50000 individuals from Champahati and its nearby districts. The crackers which have less smoke and are pollution-free are being demanded more by the customers. The demand of the customer is not the same as it was before.” Prabir Gayan, one of the workers said.
“Champahati, where the production of firecrackers has been a cottage business for many years, is still a commercial centre. The sale of firecrackers makes the majority of households dependent on this sector because it is an age-old skill that families know and rely on for a living,” he further added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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