Diwali Special – Cracking the Crackers

Diwali is the most popular festival celebrated in India. Other than sweets, clothes and prayers it is the bursting of crackers to celebrate the victory of good over evil, make this festival of lights all the more interesting. Chakras, Flower Pots, Rockets, Sparklers, Bijilis, Bombs and a whole lot of fancy novelties that can lit the sky – you have so much to choose, but then almost all of them have a common tag, that is “Made in Sivakasi“. This small industrial town in the state of Tamil Nadu accounts for more than 90% of the Indian fireworks production. Having lived there for more than 20 years, I thought of sharing my knowledge with this post, which’ll be like a “Dummies guide to the Dumeel world”.

As with every product, the price difference from top brands to the relative unknown ones is very huge. A box of flower pots can cost about Rs. 80 in the top brand and 60 in the medium and you can get it even for Rs. 40. As you are directly playing with fire here, it’s better to go for a quality product than a cheap one. For those who believe in the best, Standard Fireworks (Peacock brand) , Kaliswari Fireworks (cock brand) , Ayyan Fireworks (Bunny brand) are the options to choose. Next in line would be the medium range products from fireworks like Anil, We Two and Kuil. There are also niche players who are specialized in specific products. Sony Fireworks and Nayagi fireworks have some good products in the aerial and fancy night attractions categories.

These tips below will be a helpful guide to you in cracker shopping.
1)MRP is Maximum Retail Price – Don’t confuse this with the market price. Normally prices of the crackers will be available 20 to 30% lesser than the MRP in North India and about 50% lesser in South India. There will be a separate price list maintained by the shoppers for retail market. Check it out before you buy.

2)Gift yourself a Gift Box – Gift boxes are not only for the people who are interested in presenting gifts to others. This is one good option for all those interested in getting as much as variety in low prices. For example, a normal flower pots box will have 10 pieces, but in gift boxes alone you can get a 5 piece box. With this companies will be able to provide more items in gift boxes. If you thought you are too old to play with crackers , you can buy Children’s special gift boxes which are available in the market , specially packed for kids.

3)Advantage early shoppers – Shopkeeper’s won’t be able to spend much time with you to answer all your queries in the last minute rush. New products can go out of stock, particularly if you are thinking about buying quality branded gift boxes, you have to act early as there will be only limited stocks available in the market. Also prices will be slightly raised in the last 2 days before diwali. So it’s better to buy atleast a week before.

There are some aerial specialty products like Mystical Night, Jasmine Drops, Golden Dawn available in the market. But is the name and product package info alone enough for you to buy that? Won’t it be nice if someone give you a free demo so that you can understand the features before buying? Standard Fireworks , now has cracker functionality CD’s available in it’s depots, where you can see the display of crackers and other fancy night attractions and then decide upon buying it. It’s a great idea and customers will benefit a lot, if more fireworks start following this strategy.

Last year some people have decided to refrain from bursting crackers, to show their protest against child labour in Gandhian way, as they felt children are employed in the fireworks for low wages. But child labour in Sivakasi fireworks is a myth, crackers here are made for the children and not by the children. Tough Govt. regulations have changed this scenario years ago and child labours are not employed in any of the registered fireworks. Industry is now moving towards mechanizing the whole manufacturing process. If you are still not convinced, there are crackers available with ‘No child labour’ stickers, you can go for that brands and enjoy diwali without feeling guilty.

One big problem with bursting the crackers is the kind of damage it will cause to the environment due to noise and air pollution. There are some low decibel crackers available in the market, opting that would be a good option as it will keep the noise pollution in check. But fireworks industry hasn’t yet come up with products that do not pollute the air and are totally smoke free. It’s high time for the cracker industry to leap ahead and produce quality products that are environmentally safe and visually entertaining also.

Comments

  1. Ashish Gupta says:

    Interesting info. But you are the first person to say that child labour is a myth. Somehow I feel skeptical. Regarding ‘no child labour’ stickers, how much can they be trusted? -Ashish

  2. Siva Rajendran says:

    Ashish, In the organised sector, i mean Registered fireworks, child labour is not used or it is very minimal. ‘No child labour’ stickers from medium and top branded companies is not just an eyewash. It is a sincere statement and can be trusted.

  3. Ashish,
    As a native of sivakasi and a person who is no way related to Fireworks industry(FWI), i can give you my comments.
    1)For the FWI, loss of not selling the ir prducts is more than the cost they save by employing Children.
    2)Child Labour was very common some years back, Due to the media activism, now the people have understood the perils of employing children.
    3)I feel now it has become a fad to say that “During diwali, i dont burst crackers because its made by children”
    4)In most of the factories children are not employed, but some overzealous owners go for child labour
    5)If parents (with out sending their children to factories) make thier children to work in home, you can stop it. that needs more enlightenment. That should be for all the industries (not only for FWI)

  4. Siva Rajendran says:

    Jagan,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Nice to meet a fellow sivakasian via blog.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ur tips are useful for my purchase

  6. witnwisdumb says:

    If I may ask, on what basis are you stating that those brands are of better quality? Back in the days when I used to buy them, I’d tried out a very wide range of brands, including the ones you mentioned. Quite honestly, there wasn’t much of a difference in quality, except when it had to do with bottle rockets.

    Moreover, I have a suspicion that the market is full of fakes, and telling them apart from genuine ones is not always easy. This is not just because the counterfeiters do a good job of making counterfeits, but also because the original manufacturers do a shabby job of packaging their products and adding features that make them hard to imitate.

    On a related note, this post briefly touches upon the science behind fireworks.

  7. Siva Rajendran says:

    I meant the brands as better quality, as they have very minimal defects or failure in their products. I second your opinion on – “manufacturers not doing enough to add more features to their products and make them hard to imitate”

  8. Kuttyjapan Webmaster says:

    Hi,

    Being a sivakasian myself, to buy qualiliy and geniune fireworks, buy it from an authorised dealer in your city (or) from the fireworks own depot in your town / city.

    Ensure that you got the receipt for the fireworks (so, you pay tax on it).

    That is the only way you can buy good quality fireworks…

    Also regarding child labours – It is a myth…it all media hype..why the media is always bandwagaon just before DEEPAVALI? any one care?

    Is all because of the ‘Christian’ Missionaires along with some NGO’s profiting out of this..

    They don’t want the India’s most famous festival to be celerbrated in such a way.. why thy want us to use candles instead of fireworks.?

    Reason 1 – Most of the candles owners are christians (see the facts)

    Reason 2 – Most of the fireworks owners are Hindus…

    :)
    http://www.kuttyjapan webmaster

  9. My 2 cents :)

    Some site to support your views:

    http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14554013

    Others that would raise grave doubts:

    http://www.india-today.com/webexclusive/dispatch/20011117/arun.html#top

    http://news.webindia123.com/news/Articles/Entertainment/20071105/813703.html

    http://www.manitham.net/

    I would be posting a blog on the same – you can leave your comments there :) I believe that even if not for the child labor we should be using crackers to the minimal to help preserve environment and reduced noise pollution. At least get together for some common fireworks in which case the pleasure shared and the environment spared!!!

  10. How about the Price compared to Last year? If there is hike in the price, any reason?? Pls let me know some new fancy items for this Diwali 2008.

  11. Raajeswari Fireworks Agency, Sivakasi, Tamilnadu, India is one of the biggest wholesale dealers in Fireworks. We are the largest dealer of “WE TWO” and “SONY” Brand fireworks and crackers.

    Download our pricelist at

    http://fireworks.kuttyjapan.com/pricelist2010.pdf

    or

    http://fireworks.kuttyjapan.com/pricelist2010.txt

    25% discount available if you buy before October.

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