India is notable for the production of indigenous glass, with the bulk of this glass production taking place in Firozabad, a small industrial town nearly 200 km from India’s capital known for its glass industry, especially its famous bangles. also known as ‘The Bangle City’. Visiting India is like a dream because of its endless travel opportunities, along with its rich heritage and culture to make it simple, you need a fixer in India that ensures low-cost logistical support for filming in India.
Red, green, blue, yellow, gold-lined, edged silver, bright and gorgeous … You mark it and you’ve got it. They are all in the most beautiful of colors and designs-work of art crafted in hazardous condition by manual labour hands. Not many people know the sweat and blood that produces the colorfill glass bangles that line shop shelves around the world.
Variety of Products
Firozabad is an enormous industrial base for glass manufacturing and employs many craftsmen in and around the town. Some of the town’s units run 24 hours. For making glassware they use pot furnace, regenerative tank furnace or fully automatic furnace.
From the humble beginnings of the glass industry in Firozabad, where only simple glass items were manufactured, the range of glass products made in Firozabad today includes: glass hardware for decorative purposes, glass art items such as toys, candle stands, crosses, Christmas trees, fruits, bird and animal figurines and images of gods and goddesses, glass domestic goods such as drinking glasses, Science and laboratory glassware such as beakers, flasks, containers for college , university and factory laboratories; glass automotive products such as light bulbs, battery bulbs and other light and spotting equipment for two and four wheels; Glass street and domestic lighting equipment for urban and rural lighting and utility applications including miniature bulbs and high-voltage lighting equipment; Half of that industry’s output is exported .
For more than 200 years Firozabad has been making glass bangles and is the world’s largest producer of glass bangles. Bangle-making in Firozabad is a household business with generations passing on traditional technique.
Glass Art-Ware Generates Employment
The city is deeply steeped in the tradition of making glass useful and decorative objects. For decades, this city’s population has been engaged in this and the town has become synonymous with glassware. Today, it is India’s largest glassware manufacturing hub. Firozabad, with a population of 279,102, asserts that 75% of this population is directly or indirectly involved in the glass industry and has become known as “India’s Glass City.”
It is the only cluster in India that produces bangles and Cater for the whole bangle requirement. There are about 150 bangle-making and decoration units in the city that provide jobs for almost 50,000 families. A single bangle is expected to move through as many as 45 to 50 hands before turning it from a pure lump of glass into a piece of disposable Jewelry.
Firozabad cluster specializes in the manufacture of a range of unique items produced by hand. The cluster has easy access to skilled and trained workers. It is estimated that there are a thousand registered skilled artisans whose generations are engaged in the skillful tradition of making glassware.
Role of Glass Industry in Indian Economy
This town’s entire economy is dependent onto this industry. One can honestly say this city would never have been famous had it not been for glass.
Firozabad glass industry is India’s largest glass industry cluster with nearly 5-6lakh people directly employed and plenty more indirectly employed with this sector, accounting for about 70 percent of total glass production in the small sector in India. The cluster has a unique role consisting of Micro, Small and Medium units located in one place and capable of producing a variety of glass products ranging from art ware, chandeliers to multicolored bangles, generating more than Rs 2000 crore annual market.
By manufacturing a variety of products, the Firozabad glass industry was able to cater for the indigenous needs as well as foreign demand.
Development of Firozabad Glass Industry
Despite the obvious success of the glass bangle industry in Firozabad, Indian government has taken some steps to bring growth to the glass industry. This initiative involves the establishment of a Center for Development of Glass Industry Production in Firozabad (CDGI, 2016) as a joint venture project between the Indian government , the United Nations Development Plan (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Pradesh government.
Due to a clear lack of availability of the most modern technology, promotion and lack of product innovation / variation, Firozabad has failed to establish a strong reputation on the international market. Primitive technology is continually used in the melting, formation, and shaping of glass. And, obviously, the industry is lacking in investment. It needs to develop its infrastructure, conduct more robust marketing and brand building activities to be successful on the world market.
Atmanirbhar Bharat to Provide Huge Respite to Industry
To transform Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a self-reliant India, an attempt will be made to promote Firozabad Glass products famous worldwide with the intention of vocalizing the local. The industry has been facing the brunt of Chinese imports since past several years. More than half of MSMEs have closed their age old manufacturing due to price competitiveness than Chinese products dumped in India at cheaper price. Firozabad glass industry is majorly a labor intensive sector which raises the product price naturally, however the quality of product differs than Chinese glass products.
The government under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ would identify various sectors like Firozabad which are being killed by Chinese products and make them self-reliant by imposing anti-dumping duty and other measures under Foreign Trade Policy.
Firozabad Glass industry in Uttar Pradesh has its own unique identity. The government will put efforts to ensure that the products here are recognized as world class brands. Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has started work seriously to promote the Glass industry and save the livelihood of thousands of workers and bring back the charm and shine of city.
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Author: Pallavi Bhagat
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