December 23, 2017
Fire cracker town of Sivakasi is dying. With working capital in sever short supply, there is no way that manufacturing activity of this town that manufactures 85 per cent of firecrackers in the country can carry on.
Buyers from North India, who pay in advance account for 90 per cent of the working capital needs of the Sivakasi firecracker industry have stopped making payments given the uncertainty that a petition in Supreme Court seeking nation-wide ban on sale of crackers is posing.
Which is why, the Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturing Assocaition (TANFAMA) has decided to go on an indefinite shutdown of manufacturing activities from today. Although complete stop in manufacturing activity will come in from December 26, formally the companies have communicated the decision to the workers.
TANFAMA secretary K Mariappan said that it was not possible to carry on with manufacturing anymore and the decision, taken with a heavy heart, will affect the 8 lakh people whose livelihood depends on the firecracker industry.
TANFAMA has also sought the support of all other manufacturers from different parts of the country to mount a common fight given the prospects of a nation-wide ban that could come from the courts. The apex court has asked the centre and state governments for their comments on the ban plea made by environmental activists.
Since there is an uncertainty over sales next season, manufacturing activity cannot take place, he said adding “there is a need to protest Sivakasi, firecracker industry, Hindu culture and Hindu traditions symbolised by festivals like Diwali.”
The TANFAMA has invited all the manufacturers of fireworks from different parts of the country for a meeting on December 28 in Sivakasi to chalk out future course of action. Mariappan said members of the All India Fireworks Association (AIFA) have been invited to the meeting and so have been representatives of dealers, raw material suppliers and sales agents.
“We people in Sivakasi are tired of fighting … look forward to you for your help and support … in having a historical win against the enemies of Diwali and Fireworks,” the TANFAMA’s invitation to participants of the December 28 meeting said.
“The livelihood question of over 8 lakh people depends on our winning the fight against the enemies of Diwali,” Mariappan said.