For little kids, Diwali is all about lighting up diyas (earthen lamps), wearing festive clothes, bursting crackers and hogging down sweets!
And for adults, it’s about sprucing up the living spaces and showering loved ones with gifts—especially our parents!
For Haldwani based Pramod Kumar, neither is a viable option, but his Diwali gift for his family is nothing lesser.
A civil engineering student of government polytechnic institute in Bareilly, Pramod hails from a family of potters, which has been in the profession for the last seven generations. Though the earnings from selling earthen lamps were measly, Pramod’s father, Mewaram did everything to make sure that his children don’t have the same future that he did.
The 22-year-old is the first one in the family to even go to a college. Eldest of four siblings, he comes home every Diwali to lend his father a hand in the family business of making lamps.
“I am studying in a good college only because of the efforts of my father. We make profits only for 15 days during Dussehra and Diwali; even then he managed to give me a good education. I realise now the struggles he had to undergo,” he told Times of India.
Before the festive season, the family wakes up at 4 am to prepare moulds for diyas that goes on till 8 am. Pramod stays with his parents, three brothers, a sister and grandfather in a two-room accommodation, which also includes the space where they make the moulds.
Making close to 5,000 diyas per day in both big and small sizes, the family sells the small lamps for ₹5 and the big ones for ₹10. The amount earned by the family during the festive season is what sustains them financially until the next Diwali.
Pramod mentioned that his homecoming for Diwali is more out of gratitude towards his father, who burned the midnight oil to get him a good education.
“I want to get a good job after completing college so that I can give a better life to the elders in my family. Even though my father has spread light in many homes by making diyas, we have lived in abject poverty. Now, education has given me the light with which I can take my family out of darkness,” he added.