Unaffordable price for clay; potters leave traditional job to survive
Wadakkancherry (Thrissur): The lockdown has totally affected the livelihood of potters and they are now compelled to leave the traditional job. The potters community in Kumbhara colony in Mundathikkode said they cannot survive with the job due to the lockdown crisis.
There are many traditional potters in Mundathikkode, Ambalapuram, Akampadam, Kumaranelloor, Pathramangalam and Ezhumangad areas. The clay used to make the pots is very expensive and is brought from Karnataka with the help of agents. Even if they purchased this expensive clay for pottery, the price of pots cannot be increased. Also it will adversely affect the market.
Many of the potters have started taking the soil dug out from the wells in paddy fields. As the markets were completely closed during lockdown, the potters preserved the clay products without baking them in the furnace. They had expected good sales after plastic products were banned.
The only relief the potters have is that the merchants in Kochi and Kozhikode have started taking the clay pots from them after a gap of months. The Kerala State Pottery Marketing, Manufacturing and Welfare Development Corporation Ltd (KSPMMWDC) has announced many schemes for the pottery units.
However, only Rs 2 lakh is granted as loan for those who have an annual income less than Rs 3 lakh. They have to repay this amount within 5 years. Majority of the potters are not able to even mortgage their houses in the current situation.