New Delhi: Ahead of the Raksha Bandhan festival, the demand for Chinese rakhis have fallen this year, according to shopkeepers from several parts of the country. People are refusing to buy Chinese rakhis due to tensions between India and China. Women are preferring India-made rakhis to Chinese rakhis. The locals also intend to boost the Indian economy by buying local rakhis.
The local traders are also not buying or selling Chinese rakhis for Rakshabandhan. The traders said that India-made rakhis are also increasing employment among locals.
According to trade estimates around 50 crore rakhis, tied on the wrist of brothers to mark Rakshabandhan with a promise to protect the sister, are sold within the country.
Alongside the government efforts, the manufacturers and traders too have done their bit to revive domestic manufacturing of handicrafts particularly products that are part of various festivals like idols for Janmashtami, Ganesh chaturthi, etc.
Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), says the trade lobby had joined hands with women living in slum colonies, working at Anganwadi and also jobless people to make rakhis using only Indian material.
A special feature of these rakhis was that they have special features representing the place of origin like the khadi rakhi made in Nagpur, Sanganeri art rakhi in Jaipur, seed rakhi in Pune, wool rakhi in Satna in Madhya Pradesh, bamboo rakhi from tribal items in Jamshedpur, tea leaves rakhi in Assam, jute rakhi in Kolkata, silk rakhi in Mumbai, date palm rakhi in Kerala, pearl rakhi in Kanpur, Madhubani and Maithili art rakhi in Bihar, stone Rakhi in Pondicherry, flower Rakhi in Bangalore, etc.
The traders are hopeful that this attempt to edge out Chinese products dominance in the festive season gifts and other artefacts would help to revive India’s cottage and village industries and improve the livelihood of millions.