Jewellery industry at stake in Gopalganj
GOPALGANJ, Apr 15: Jewellers of Jolirpar area in Muksudpur Upazila of the district are interested in making amulet more than imitation jewellery.
Once, the area was popular for making imitation jewellery. Thousands of males and females were solvent with the earning from the production of the jewellery. With time, due to many setbacks and competition with foreign markets, they could not hold their existence. The industry is at stake. Now, they are moving towards amulet production.
Amulet artisans said they buy raw materials of the amulets- bronze, copper, and lead at Tk 400 to 600 per kg from Dhaka. Then, they cut the materials in required sizes and give them shape. They heat the material and weld it. Later, they cut the material and colour it with different chemicals.
The amulets are supplied to Dhaka, Khulna, Bogura, Barishal, Barguna, Bhola and other districts at Tk 900 to 1,000 per kg.
Rupchand Bakchi, an artisan of Jolirpar, said they can produce amulets of 8 kg to 10 kg from morning till noon daily. They get Tk 150 to 200 for their work per day. They work in other sectors rest of the day. They run their family with the income.
Rana Bakchi, another artisan said they don't face any setback while working here. He also said they used to make imitation jewellery earlier but now since the demand is low, they get low pay. Now, they earn their livelihood by making amulets.
Bidhan Bakchi, an owner of an amulet factory, said he has been making amulets with his workers at his house for last eight years. Although the profit from this business is low, the demand of amulet is high. So he can pay wages to the workers on a regular basis.
He said that if the government helps them financially, they could sustain in the industry.
General Secretary of Jolirpar Bronze Market Association Sukanta Talukder said due to the supply of quality designer jewelleries at an affordable price, the demand of local jewelleries decreased.
He said once the market was crowded, now it is free. If the government helps them, they can keep the industry running.