Communal amity thrives in Karnataka district

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Chikkabalapura (Karnataka), Dec.25 (ANI): Setting an example of communal harmony, the women professionals belonging to different religions have been working together in joss (fragrance essence) stick units for the past several decades in Chintamani town of Karnataka's Chikkabalapura District.

Entrepreneurs of Chintamani are regarded as the pioneers of the rolling joss sticks, popularly known as Aggarbatti and basically it is a cottage industry.

Pushpa Bai, a worker at one of the units, said all of them live like a close-knit family and have never experienced any kind of discrimination of religion, caste or other factors.

"All of us work together as if each are a brother, a sister, a mother or a father. On the occasion of Eid, they (Muslims) come to wish us and we also visit them during any wedding. We the women work like amicable sisters," said Pushpa Bai.

This small town has more than 25 joss stick manufacturing units.

Products of this cottage industry are sold not only in India but also in other countries, a trade that commenced during pre-independence days.

According to one of the owners of a unit the credit of setting up these small-scale units and their progress goes to both Hindus and Muslims.

T Raju, proprietor Dhanlakshmi Sugandhalya, claimed that this place is a birthplace of Aggarbattis.

"Here people of both the communities Hindus and Muslim work together. The Aggarbattis (essence joss sticks) we make here are sold throughout India. This is the birthplace of Aggarbatti. As a cottage industry, it had its origin from this place only. Both Hindus and Muslims have taken active part in this industry and we are working together," said T Raju.

"People of any community whether they are Parsis, Christian, Hindus or Muslims use Aggarbattis rolled by us. Married couples, families and even unmarried individuals use our products. People use Aggarbatti for prayer rituals and on other formal occasions to spread fragrance in the room," he added.

Workers also share their happiness and sorrow, help one another emotionally and even monetarily when in need. (ANI)

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