Sharmili Mallick

Cuttack/Balasore/Mayurbhanj: Stricter lockdown restrictions coupled with the fear of Covid-19 infection made certain that this Raksha Bandhan the demand for online delivery of locally-made rakhis grows multifold in Odisha as well as other parts of the country.

Given the prevailing tension between India and China after the Galwan stand-off, people also have decided to boycott the Chinese rakhis; and are preferring hand-made ‘Swadeshi’ rakhis.

With lockdown and shutdown in force in several parts of Odisha to contain the spread of coronavirus infection, a group of young traders from Chauliaganj in Cuttack have started selling rakhis with printed digital photos.

“We are offering three varieties of rakhis- Covid rakhi kit at Rs 270, Combo rakhi which includes a rakhi and a mask at Rs 90. There's one more rakhi with a digital photo which is priced at Rs 60,” said the rakhi trader, Seshadev Sahoo.

“The Covid rakhi kit has seven items- a mask, rakhi with either the brother's image on it or whatever photo the customer chooses to print on it, a sanitizer, rice, vermillion, secret key chain and a greeting card. We have been getting orders from Odisha and outside the State as well,” stated another trader Ishwar Sahoo.

Similarly, another group comprising women artisans from Kantabania village under Oupada block of Balasore district has been preparing indigenous rakhis designed with seeds, pulses, rice and food grain. The rakhis look attractive and have also successfully gained popularity in the local market.

“As the online sale of rakhis has increased, we prepare around 2,000 rakhis per day. We use rice, pulses and other items in preparing the sacred threads,” said the rakhi-maker, Biswajita Biwal.

Annapurna Nayak, a shopkeeper said, “The sale of Chinese-made rakhis has sharply declined and people are preferring hand-made indigenous rakhis now.”

The eco-friendly rakhis prepared by the women of a self-help group in Guhaldangri village under Rairangpur tehsil of Mayurbhanj district have also become a big hit in the region. The rakhis are made up of Sewai grass, dry palm leaves; besides, the colours used in the threads are also naturally extracted.

“The rakhis are made of up natural products and we have not used plastic at all. They are biodegradable and cause no harm to the environment,’ said a member of the SHG, Kuni Singh.

This year, the pious Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated across India and by Indians across the globe on August 3.

(Edited By Devbrat Patnaik)

More Stories On Raksha Bandhan:

Rakhi In Covid Bandhan: Vendors Worry Over Big Sales Drop

Himachal Women Make ‘Rakhis’ To Help India Become Self-Reliant’