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By Arpita Singh & Midhat Fatimah

Kamla Devi told that they take bath in the evening to stay clean of the mud while sleeping. She is one of thousands of potters residing in the conjested village known as Kumhar Gram.

Kumhar Gram situated on the outskirts of Delhi, is the largest habitat of potter’s community in India accomodating more than 700 potter families. It’s has been home to the families ever since they left Rajasthan in the early 1970s.

Diwali being the bonanza period, witnesses rigourous work hours and changes the dynamics of the place. Not just the day time but nights are also consumed. Not just the men but women, children and the elderly too contribute to the work force. Homes are converted into workshops and the serpentine lanes see a rush of customers.

Despite being the largest settlement of Potters in India and an offbeat tourist spot, the potters and their art lives in low-grade conditions.

A potter preparing the clay for shaping.
A potter preparing the clay for shaping.
The potters sit round the clock kneading the clay mostly in dingy kutcha mud houses.
The potters sit round the clock kneading the clay mostly in dingy kutcha mud houses.
A dingy, conjested workshop which produces around 300-400 pieces a day. Each piece sells for a ballpark figure of Rs 30 in the market.
A dingy, congested workshop which produces around 300-400 pieces a day. Each piece sells for a ballpark figure of Rs 30 in the market.
The whole village has abundance of burning furnaces adding to the respiratory problems. Kamla Devi and her son are of many who have to constantly deal with the choking smoke.
The whole village has abundance of burning furnaces adding to the respiratory problems. Kamla Devi and her son are of many who have to constantly deal with the choking smoke.
Everything during Diwali revolves around bussiness. Daily chores and responsibilities work in tandem with the demands of customers.
Everything during Diwali revolves around business. Daily chores and responsibilities work in tandem with the demands of customers.
Woman climbing the ladder to and fro, lifting pottery wares.
Woman climbing the ladder to and fro, lifting pottery wares.

Arpita Singh and Midhat Fatimah are students of Convergent Journlism at Jamia Millia Islamia AJK MCRC.

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    The pictures reflect struggling lives of potter community. The trade of pottery is n a crisis as earthen wares are being replaced by corporate materials made kut of metals and various alloys