Lead kindly light2 min read . Updated: 21 Oct 2011, 09:16 PM IST
Lead kindly light
The long-lasting ‘diya’
A group of women based in Patankala, in Alwar district of Rajasthan, earn some extra pocket money every Diwali, thanks to their business collaboration with sisters Ayesha Grewal and Misha Grewal Soni of The Altitude Store—an organic products store at Mehar Chand Market in New Delhi’s Lodhi Colony. The sisters have partnered with the community of potters in Patankala to make diyas that are sold in New Delhi. All proceeds go to the women. “We’re into the third year of our initiative. While last year we sold 6,000 diyas, this year we aim to touch 10,000 diyas," says Grewal. They burn easily for 6-8 hours, longer than most diyas last. “They are deeper and wider than the usual size that you find in the market, and the mitti (soil) that they’re made with is very pure. I believe that the depth and diameter ratio is what makes them last so long," explains Soni.
Each diya costs ₹ 30. Available at The Altitude Store, Mehar Chand Market, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi. Call 49050404.
‘Diyas’ by the visually impaired
Diyas are sold at ₹ 60 a dozen and can go up to ₹ 26 a piece. Candles range from ₹ 35-170 a dozen. To pre-order, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 65650969/70.
‘Diyas’ inspired by child art
Sets of two or four diyas range from ₹ 25-495. For details, visit www.cryworld.cry.org
‘Diyas’ by the mentally challenged
The participants also make chocolates and greeting cards for the festive season. The Manav Foundation, Atlas Mill Compound, Mumbai; prices start at ₹ 35 for a pair of diyas and may vary, depending on the type. For details, visit www.manavfoundation.org.in
Organic health hampers by rehabilitated juveniles and orphans
Syamantak in Dhamapur, in Maharashtra’s coastal Sindhudurg district, is a multi-skill residential education system without teachers or classrooms. Santosh Desai, the organization supervisor, says the students here create solar dehydrators and grow organic vegetables to generate revenue. For the first time, they are doing Diwali hampers. Each hamper will contain 200g of halwa (made with organic bananas, desi ghee from cow’s milk, dates and sugar), 100g of Malabar Nut Malt (a herbal decoction of Malabar nut leaves, piper longum powder, black pepper, dried ginger and sugar), 50g of Utna (a scrub made from Ayurvedic ingredients used for a traditional Diwali bath in Maharashtra), 200g Hurali mix (a nutritious soup). Desai requests that since it is the first batch and an educational effort, people should have patience with the students while placing orders. The proceeds go to help rehabilitate the students.
Each hamper costs ₹ 400 with a handwoven bamboo box (Rs 300 without the box). The cost includes transport charges to Mumbai and Pune. Email Santosh Desai at email@example.com, or call 9404164945.
Hand-painted ‘diyas’ by young adults with intellectual disabilities
A pack of six of basic wax-filled earthen diyas cost ₹ 40. To place orders, call Gayathri Venkatesh, who supervises the workshops, at 26431515.
Gayatri Jayaraman and Pavitra Jayaraman contributed to this story.