Cheru firecracker manufacturers mull change in vocation
Kolkata: In an exemplary move the firecracker manufacturers of Cherua in West Midnapore have decided not to make them in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and if needed will change their vocation.
The decision was taken by the elders of the village much before the Calcutta High Court had banned the use of firecrackers during the festivals that will take place in November.
Situated 7 kilometers off Midnapore town the twin villages Cherua and Bamandanga under Panchkuri Gram Panchayat are famous for manufacturing fire crackers. The buyers from Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and even East and West Burdwan and Murshidabad come to the village to buy firecrackers before Kali Puja and Diwali. About 150 families are involved in making various types of fire crackers that include ordinary and coloured phuljhuri, rang mashal, different types of kali pataka and chocolate bomb. A fare is organised at the village 15 days before Kali Puja and people from different areas come to buy the products. All the members of the families irrespective of age are involved in making the firecrackers.
The pandemic has changed the scene in the two villages. The elders decided not to manufacture the firecrackers and the male members are now working in different schemes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (Act) schemes while the women are engaged in making various home decorations of which the swings made of ropes are most popular.
Sabyasachi Sengupta, DSP (administration) said the police have launched intense campaign in the villages request the people not to make firecrackers as that would amount to violation of the High Court order. He congratulated the people of the villages for taking such a bold decision not to make firecrackers in view of the pandemic.