Cyclone Fani severely affects livelihood of potters in Puri

Puri: The livelihood of potters’ community at Kumbharpada of Puri has been severely affected by the devastating cyclone Fani that made landfall in the holy town on May 3.

According to reports, houses of around 300 potter families were completely swept away in the extremely severe cyclone. Besides, thousands of finished clay pots and semi-finished pots were also ravaged by the cyclone.

“Potteries and wheels worth lakhs have been destroyed completely by the cyclone. Semi-finished pots and finished pots worth over Rs 50 lakh have been destroyed in the cyclone,” said Mahendra Bishoyi, a potter.

While the potter community at Kumbharpada is said to have incurred a revenue loss of around Rs 6 crore due to Fani, uncertainty over availability of pots for the cooking of Mahaprasad at Puri Srimandir looms large as the clay pots are provided by these potters throughout the year.

Claiming that they would require at least two months to repair and rebuild their damaged potteries and wheels, the potters have requested the district administration to help them.

Saroj Kumar Behera, State president of Kumbhakar Mahasangha said, “We request the State government to rebuild their potteries and provide three wheels to every potter. Besides, I urge the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator to visit the area and make a detailed assesment and give the report to the State government.”

Puri District Collector Balwant Singh, on the other hand, informed that some of the potters have already informed him about the matter and the state government will immediately provide whatever help it can do.