The share of China in the Diwali idol market in Delhi is about 10 per cent, compared to 70-80 per cent five to six years ago, a traders' organisation has claimed, with sellers asserting that "Made in India" has replaced the "Made in China" tag for the product.
"This year, traders have imported less idols of gods and goddesses from China. This has led to an increase in the price of Chinese products," Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh president Devraj Baweja said.
Idols include those of Ganesha, Lakshmi, Shiva, Durga and Saraswati.
"Indian idol makers now know the technique that China uses to make statues. They have adopted it and idols made in India have flooded Delhi markets. China's share here is about 10 per cent now. It was 70-80 per cent five to six years ago," he said.
Traders also attributed the fall in demand of Chinese idols to anti-China product demonstrations last year in the national capital.
"The effect of these demonstrations is being seen in this Diwali. Most traders in Delhi have opted for made in India idols over those produce in China," Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) general secretary Praveen Khandelwal said.
"Even, people are opting for Indian products, creating demand. This will boost manufacturing," he said.
Idols are being procured from manufacturing units in Burari, Pankha Road, Ghazipur, Old Delhi here and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, among other places, traders said.
"There are very less people selling Chinese idols," said Surendra Bajaj of Standard Trading, which has been selling gift items for the last 30 years, in Sadar Bazaar.
Bari Market Traders' Association chief Paramjit Singh said Indian products are as good as those from China.
"Chinese idols are also costlier by at least 30-40 per cent than those produced domestically," he said, adding that the price of idols can go as high as Rs 8,000.
Potter Mohammad Suleman said Indian idols are more lasting than the Chinese ones. "Idols have a resin coating as they need to be decorated," he said.