The famous pottery artisans of Pokhran are forced to sell fruits and vegetables these days

The artistic toys and utensils made from red clay here are famous not only in India, but also among the foreign tourists who come to visit Rajasthan. About 200 families here survive on the pottery trade

Chandrabhaan Solanki
| Updated: June 24th, 2020

Pokhran (Jaisalmer, Rajasthan)

Pokhran’s red clay toys and utensils are famous not only in Rajasthan but also in the other states. However, even this trade could not evade the ill effects of the lockdown. At the beginning of the summer, when their wares are chiefly sold, pottery did not get any market due to the lockdown. Several kumhars (potters) have even switched to other businesses, but many are still hopeful.

Pokhran, about 100 kms away from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is known as a nuclear testing site, but the workmanship of its potters has also been recognized all over the world. The artistic and fancy toys and utensils made from red clay here are famous not only in the country, but also abroad. About 200 families here survive on the pottery trade.

For Mohan Ram Prajapati, who lives in the Pokhran town, pottery has been his ancestral trade. He said: “Due to the lockdown, foreign tourists coming here to visit and supporting our trade have stopped. This has affected our trade a lot and we find it difficult to support our families.”

At present, there is hardly any demand for pottery made by them in the market. Nevertheless, they have continued working. The Kumhar community hopes for corona crisis to end soon. There will then be a demand for the clay utensils in the market. With this hope, they, along with their family members, are still making these utensils and toys. People informed that in normal days, there is a demand for clay toys, but due to the corona pandemic there are no buyers or market.

These toys made from red clay also attract domestic as wells as foreign tourists. These artistic clay toys and utensils displayed at the shops are bought by the tourists and are used to decorate their houses, dining halls and lawns, which helps advance the reputation of the art and culture of Pokhran.

Many people have forsaken their ancestral craft and started selling fruits and vegetables. Satyanarayan Prajapati today points out that the Pokhran crafts people are forced to support their families by selling either fruits or vegetables and don’t know when they will be able to return to their craft.