Hyderabad: Candle makers here are at their wits end to meet the expected surge in demand in Telangana following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to light candles, diyas or switch on mobile phone torches on Sunday evening, saying they would be hard pressed to cater to it due to the ongoing lockdown.
M Sujatha, promoter of Lucky Candle India, which specialies in making decorative and event-based candles, started getting calls from customers after the Prime Ministers speech on Friday morning. Modi urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat coronavirus.
Telangana has been under lockdown since March 22. "There were no enquirers for candles during the past
fortnight due to the lockdown. We started getting calls for candles after the PMs speech today. We expect more calls tomorrow and the day after. However, we are not sure whether we will be able to meet the demand as production was suspendeddue to the lockdown.
Even to sell the existing stock we would request our customers to go for options like mobile torch or an oil lamp
for Sunday to avoid any mass gathering or movement of people on the roads just to pick up the candles, Sujatha told PTI. She further said traditional candle makers are shifting their focus to specilised products such as event or decorative specific candles, as there have been no power cuts in Telangana during the past three or four years.
Voicing similar views, Roshan Singh, proprietor of BR Jayesh Singh Enterprises said traditional candle sales are
dwindling as the power situation has improved. He said the sale of specialty lamps and candles were picking up.
Ramrao Ubela, a candle manufacturer, said he expects the demand to go up in the next 48 hours and he would sell
whatever stocks he has. "I will be able to supply whatever quantities if customers come and pick thestocks from my shop. I am not going out due to lockdown, Ubela said.
D Prabhakar Rao, Telangana State Transmission Corporation Chairman and Managing Director said there will be
a temporary dip of 700 MW in domestic consumption in Telangana if people switch off lights. he said the power utilities would lose revenue consequent to the loss of consumption.