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23 October 2011

Scindia Pottery Colony

The price of paraffin wax has a direct bearing on happiness.

Traders at Scindia Pottery Colony in Delhi's Sarojini Nagar say they are not getting enough customers to cover the cost of setting up the market this Diwali season. A kilogram of paraffin wax costs Rs100, as against Rs40 in the same period last year. Artisans need a lot of wax to make diyas and that is where they are feeling the pinch—and passing it on to buyers.

But some traders see no issues. "It's too early to predict sales. Wait for two more days and see how people throng here," says Tribhawan Pati, who gets his wares from Gujarat. But he is a lucky fellow. He has enough savings, he says, to keep him going for about a year until next Diwali if he is unable to sell anything this year.

The potters' market has been around for 73 years. Two types of families live, work and sell on this stretch: one is the wholeseller, who lives in a nearby slum and stores the goods at home, and the other is the migrant seller, who comes from outside Delhi only during Diwali.

It is said the previous two generations who lived here were highly talented artisans from Lucknow, Kolkata, Agra and Gujarat, and they were given this place by Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia.

There used to be a pottery mill called Gwalior Pottery here, which eventually shut down. With nowhere else to go, the artisans set up this market along their houses.

Ashwini's job is to apply colours to clay items that arrive from the kilns. "I am a painter. Other people make idols and diyas, and I put colours to make them look good. Otherwise nobody will buy dull clay items," says Ashwini.

The sidewalk is the storefront.


  1. Play with the colors... tooo good!! :)

  2. jai ho scindia pottery......by saurabh verma lives at scindia pottery sarojini nagar

  3. I lived in Sarojini Nagar for first 15 years of my life and this place holds a special place in my heart being an integral part of my childhood. Thanks to Google to bring me to this page from memory driven search but I am more thankful to you for writing this and putting this page on. I lived in P&T colony 1 minutes walk from here. I have described this place (sarojini nagar) more on my site www.activelazy.com. Post title 'Jai Mata Di'



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Journalist. Taking a walk in India. | Email to journeybasket[at]gmail | Special thanks to M.S. Gopal | All rights reserved. No commercial use.

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