Bamboo-craft artisans passing hard time in Kurigram

Update : Saturday, January 27, 2024

The bamboo-craft artisans who are waiting with their bamboo products for customers. Now the weakened haats (markets) of Kurigram are visited, there we would see the phenomenon.

When any visitor passes away them, they try to find him as their customer in the site of sympathy. If anyone stops his walking or looks them, they urge that any think would be needed?

Their little selling has affected on their family lifestyle. Almost bamboo-craft artisans are maintaining their families with taking loans from their neighbours. Some of them are trying to go into Dhaka for earning money in this hard time.

Some of them told about their hard times while this correspondent visited Kathalbari Haat (market) in Kurigram Sadar upazila recently. They pass busy times during Boro harvesting period (April-June) and Aman harvesting period (July-September) while they are to pass the financial hard time into the rest months. 

Normally they make various bamboo products including Darki (equipment of catching fishes), cage, Ghorpa (cage of keeping poultry birds), cage of pigeon, Duli (large pot of keeping rice), various kinds of wicker tray, winnowing-tray, winnowing-fan, winnowing-net, mat, hand-fan, basket, large hat, measuring tray etc.

A buyer Mozammel Haque, 55, a resident of Barobari union under Lalmonirhat, said, “I bought one wicker tray for domestic works. In this season, there is no need of bamboo product likely. But I am to buy some bamboo products in paddy harvesting period every season. ”

A bamboo-craft artisan Mukul Chandra Das, 45, of Shibrum village of Kathalbari union under Kurigram Sadar upazila said, “We maintain our families through making bamboo handicraft as we have no cultivable land. This is one of our permanent jobs for our Hindu Dash community.”

Most of our bamboo products are used in the agro-based works. Harvesting period of any crop is a busy time for our businesses. Sometimes we fail to supply our products according to buyer’s demand. Then, we sell products with double rates than this time. At that times, we sold agro-based products up to Taka 75 thousand every haat-day, Mukul said.

The products are made with the bamboo of Makla variety. Farmers are not interested normally to sell the bamboo at the season (June-August) that is its reproduction period Mukul said.

Another bamboo-craft artisan Sumon Chandra Das, 26, said, my family depend on the bamboo-craft business. All of our family members except baby are involved with making bamboo-crafts. We sell our products in various local markets.

Another bamboo-craft artisan Kalpona Rani Das, 50, of Patnipara village of the Kathalbari union said, “I live in a hut beside Kurigram-Rangpur highway as I have no land. We are involved with the profession in generation-to-generation while I cannot do the work of other profession. Now I am passing economical hard time as our products are sold in small quantities in the times.”

Bamboo-craft artisan Radha Rani Das, 50, wife of Karendra Taroni Das of Patnipara village of the Kathalbari union said, “We, husband and wife are maintaining my family with making and buying the bamboo-crafts. Now the bamboo products are not being sold in every day. Sometimes we take meal once in a day.”

I have already taken some loan to my neighbours. The loan (with interests) will be paid after some months when I could sell the products in huge measures, Radha said.

Another bamboo-craft artisan Sarswati Rani Das, 30, said, almost artisans of us have taken loan to pass the hard times. I don’t know, how to receive loan on our handicraft business from any government organisation. I think I would bring solvency in my family, if I would get the government loan (in little interest) on making bamboo-crafts.

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