Sunday, October 20, 2013

Festival season at Kumbharwada, Dharavi

- by Deepa Krishnan

With Diwali around the corner, the kilns at Kumbharwada are going non-stop. If you go now, you will see women and men working round the clock, selling the diyas and decorative pots that have been made specially for the festive season. 

I went on Saturday. Here is what I found:
With every available open space taken up, these diyas were being dried on top of a taxi
Large quantities of standard type diyas were being filled
into gunny bags and loaded into trucks for
sending to other parts of the city
They were being given a last wash in geru (red colour) and dried before packing.
Decorative diyas had been made using fancy moulds.
Some of them were ceramic as well.
I found a girl deftly painting designs with acrylic paint.
She was super-quick and efficient.
Her mother sat nearby doing the base colours.
They made a pretty picture, lined up in a row
Women managing the shop.
Behind the shop is the home and the kitchen.
And behind that is the workshop and kiln.
Purchase transaction in progress
Every visit to Kumbharwada teaches me the importance of cottage industries. When work and home location are combined, women become active participants in production. The separation of work and home, aka "industrialisation" is simply not set up with women's inclusion in mind. If you want to read Gandhi's views on the subject, they are here.

This is what I bought for myself:
The larger diya will go in the centre of my Diwali rangoli
There is something special about going to the source of a product and buying it directly from the community. To be able to do that in an urban environment like Mumbai is something even more special. Go visit Kumbharwada, buy some stuff!

Kumbharwada is really easy to get to. With Sion railway station on your right, walk towards Bandra. The first big left you see is called 90-Feet Road. About 500 meters down this road is Kumbharwada (on your left).


Manisha said...

Thank you for details. I love buying diyas. I hope to go to this place for purchasing my diyas .

Nishtha Maru said...

Beautiful !!