India, Oct. 19 -- "Can you imagine the pain of an artisan having to cycle a rickshaw for a living," asks Shayam Lal Prajapati, as he shapes a diya (earthen lamp) on a potter's wheel. We are in his workshop, on the second floor of his house in Kumhar Gram, better known as potters' colony in west Delhi's Uttam Nagar area.

"But these days there are few takers for our earthenware, and, with my earnings dipping like never before, I have been forced to cycle rickshaws. I make some money only during Diwali, which too has dried up this year," says the 44-year-old potter.

While in the last few years, Kumhar Gram, India's largest potters' colony, has become a tourist hub, with several tour operators and guides bringing in foreigners for an "unmat...