It is the festive time of the year. After Dussehra, we are just about 10-15 days away from the celebrations of Diwali, one of the most-awaited and favourite times of the year. The preparations of Diwali begin right after Dussehra or Vijayadashami celebrations. The usual home cleaning to getting in new stuff like diyas, lanterns, lighting wires, clothes, appliances it is an enthusiastic celebration. This Diwali 2020, it is important we choose local brands, support the ones in need over the established ones. PM Modi government has also started a campaign that urges everyone to Go Vocal For Local. In his recent address on Mann ki Baat, he once again asked citizens to go "Vocal for local" during this festive time. But how exactly do we start with local produce, or how do you find and support local businesses to shop from? In this article, we tell you some ways in which you can embrace the localness and also enjoy the festival.

Just this month, we saw a splendid example of how a food stall Baba Ka Dhaba in Delhi's Malviya Nagar rose to success after simply talking about it on social media. Throngs of public gathered to support this octogenarian couple who had no means to live after being severely affected by the pandemic. This arose into a Baba ka Dhaba movement online where people created awareness about similar stalls in parts of the country. But this is not just about food, but supporting all small and local businesses and help them thrive through these difficult times. Here are some ways you can start out this Diwali season.

1. Eco-friendly Diyas and Lanterns: 

Diwali is the festival of Diyas, so getting decorative lamps and lanterns every year is a must. This time go shopping from the local street vendors. You can get in simple earthen diyas and paint them at home too. For example, a group of rural women in Rajasthan are making alternative lamps of cowdung. The women who work at a cowshed are making diyas from cow manure and decorating them without any harmful colour or adornments.

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Similarly for lanterns, there would be similar options of those who are making eco-friendly decorations. So find or ask around for such people and buy from them.

2. Homemade Diwali Delicacies

A lot of people in this period of lockdown have switched to starting their own food business from home. Diwali sees every household making some sort of snacks like Chivda, Chakali, Laddoos, Karanjis etc. These local food businesses will surely be making Diwali faral as we call it. So buy from such people who have newly ventured into the business. If you know someone, let others know about them.

3. Handloom Clothing 

Buying new dresses is also a common part of Diwali festivities. Opt for handloom and handmade attire, some that is locally produced within India. You can do a detailed research about the company, ask those who are aware of such products and buy from them. It may be a little costlier in comparison but at least your money is helping build livelihoods of those who really need the support.

4. Shop in Local Markets

The best way to find local stuff is to head into nearby local markets. We normally choose to shop from the malls, but this Diwali, head to the street markets. You will find many local street shops, vendors and newly ones who have begun their ventures waiting for customers. You will also learn of other such local businesses if you ask around. You can also discover some surprising finds in these local markets. HP India's Old Diwali Ad on #GoLocal is Going Viral As it Rightly Fits Into The 'Vocal For Local' Campaign (Watch Beautiful Video).

5. Amplify Small Businesses on Social Media

It is very important to create awareness about local products. So if you have bought anything from local vendors who need the support, be it earthen lamps or traditional attire, let others know about it. Create awareness, give your detailed reviews, take good pictures and market it with everyone so that people are encouraged to go local shopping instead of calling everything online.

This Diwali, take one step towards the change and support those in need. And do not just stop at Diwali, instead build on a thought process that you will always look for local options first before ordering branded stuff. Let choosing local form a convenience instead of doubt. When you help the other locals grow, it will be a Happy Diwali for them more than just yourself!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 25, 2020 01:49 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website