New Delhi: Come Diwali, and you see a spate of pre-Diwali melas and exhibitions being organised, which become an inviting platform for women homemakers to earn during the festive period.
"These exhibitions and Diwali melas are very encouraging for women, who cannot afford a shop or advertise to bring their creativity and work before the people and also earn extra money," Saroj Dudani, who runs a jewellery business from home, said.
Whether it's diyas, candles, cookies, paintings, home decoration accessories and, for that matter, even clothes, one can see many women putting up stalls in Diwali melas in every colony or society.
"These exhibitions and Diwali melas have really helped me establish my business of making cookies and cakes. Sweets are no longer favourite gifting options for people and they are increasingly asking for alternatives. I have been putting my stall in Diwali mela every year and have always got an encouraging response," said Reena Verma, 35.
"I don't aim at making huge profits, but whatever I get through these exhibitions, my costs are recovered," she added.
A lot depends upon what kind of things you are offering to the people and where you are offering it, says Gurgaon-based Neerja Gorawara.
"If it is different, you will get good returns. Innovation and creativity also play a very important role, like how you put it on display and other such things," said Gorawara, who also owns a lingerie shop called De Apparels.
"If you are putting up a stall in an upmarket place like Galleria, your returns would be 100 percent, and if it is somewhere like small shopping complex Vyapaar Kendra, the returns might just be 50 percent," she added.
Rita Joshi, who had been doing her own pre-Diwali exhibitions of diyas, jewellery, gift items in Delhi as well as out of Delhi like Dehradun, says organising something like this is very tough.
"You need at least three to four people for organising and planning. Presentation is also important. It should look attractive. I provide a lot of options -- from diyas, clothes, gift items and clothes. The exhibitions have indeed given me a lot," she added.
"It is very important to price the stuff in the right way. If something costs Rs.500, I can't price it at Rs.2,000. The pricing should be done in a way that you recover your cost as well as save," she said.
However, they do admit that for the past two years, the Diwali melas have been hit by growing inflation.
"Melas and exhibitions have witnessed a decline in footfalls. Due to inflation people are not ready to spend extra money. The rates of silver and gold have increased so much that people are hesitating to buy jewellery," said Dudani.
Madhu Sharma, who also puts up stalls of diyas, candles and other gift items, says, "The sale this time has not been as expected."