Traders claim awareness campaigns against hazardous effects of firecrackers have affected the demand drastically
Though Diwali is considered to be a festival of joy, this delight seems to be fading for firecracker sellers with each passing year. According to traders at Navi Mumbai’s biggest firecracker marketplace near the APMC market, Vashi, business is no longer profitable.
Traders claim one of the reasons for dwindling sales is the diminishing interest for firecrackers
They claimed that despite commencement of Diwali, the business remains less than 50 per cent. “We have been putting up stalls for the last three days, but have hardly received any customers. People are no longer fond of crackers like they were a few years ago.
Demand has dropped drastically. Lakshmi pujan is just two days away and I haven’t even sold 20 per cent of the stock,” said Sudhir Dhonde, owner of a stall near APMC market.
The great slump
Traders stated that awareness campaigns — among schoolchildren and on social media platforms — against the hazardous effects of crackers on health and environment have led to a further decline in demand.
“The market is slow and, these days, only a handful of buyers are purchasing firecrackers. Overall, the slump in demand is over 25 per cent,” said Anil Helekar, who has been in this business for 30 years and is the president of the firecracker market.
“Business has been moderate this year. The demand, in comparison to the last year, has come down considerably because the craze of bursting firecrackers is fast vanishing,” said a trader from Essabhai Fire Works. The company owns and operates one of the biggest shops at Mohammed Ali Road in Mumbai.
“In the past decade, the number of burns patients coming during Diwali has shrunk to just a third of what it used to be. Many have stopped bursting firecrackers due to an increase in awareness campaigns that are conducted every year,” said Dr Sunil Keswani, director, National Burns Centre in Airoli.
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