Cheaper, innovative crackers a hit with shoppers
we listen to Lata Mangeshkar's timeless melodies on radios manufactured by them; our children are playing with their toys. It is now the turn of Indian festivals to be gobbled up by the dragon. China will celebrate Diwali, with equal if not more zest, with every cracker that goes up in smoke.
Have a blast: These crackers are readily available at Sadar Bazar.
Fireworks from across the border have stormed the Indian markets and are selling like hotcakes with their innovative style and cheaper rates.These crackers are the main attraction this year in the wholesale market of Sadar Bazar. For instance, they have come up with a pair of balls with some special gun powder coating over it. When rubbed together, they light up with a bang. They are available in attractive colours for just Rs 20 a pair.
Sunny, a Sadar Bazar trader, said: "Chinese products in India are not a new thing but Chinese crackers have been imported for the first time. Our customers prefer them over Indian ones."
"In the last two days we have sold over 3,000 pairs of balls which illuminate making a sound when rubbed. The other crackers in demand are the anars and rockets which cost as low as Rs 100 and 150 respectively for a packet of ten pieces," added Sameer, another dealer, who has been in this business for the last 15 years.
The impact of Chinese gadgets can also be seen in the market. From gifts, candles, lights and flowers, everything is "Made in China". Even the traditional lampshades, a symbol of festivity in every house during Diwali, have been replaced by Chinese ones. People find Chinese lampshades more attractive and cheap.
A study by Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment found that over 45 per cent of the Chinese toys samples exceeded internationally accepted safe limits for phthalates- a family of chemicals that can cause serious health disorders such as asthma, skeletal defects, damage male reproductive system and impair lungs of children besides causing allergies if exposed to beyond safe levels.