The firecrackers market in the Chandni Chowk area in Delhi which usually is a busy market this time of the year, is witnessing very low footfalls. “Most people step out to purchase firecrackers during the weekends, but we did not receive many customers on the 24th and 25th of this month, the past. And there are just two weekends left before the Diwali festival,” said Harsh Kumar, a firecrackers dealer.
“Every year people start buying crackers a month before Diwali however this year footfalls are very low. Just about three customers visit my store in a day, as compared to last year”, he said.
“There are various types of crackers available in the market such as eco-friendly crackers, Chinese crackers and others but people do not seem interested in buying them this year. Those who are buying crackers are young boys, as opposed to the middle aged,” said Chandan Kumar, another dealer of firecrackers.
“The major reason for the decline in sales is the inflation; the prices of firecrackers have skyrocketed. Crackers that were sold at Rs. 250 in the previous year, are now being sold at Rs. 500. Not many people want to spend on firecrackers,” Kumar said. "Such has become the situation and many of us are shifting over to others business," he said.
Firecracker dealers are praying for a miracle and want more people like Ankur Malhotra, who bought crackers for Rs.11,000 this time, to visit their stores. Malhotra, who has never spent big money on firecrackers for Diwali, did so this time because he is getting married around the same time.