Blacksmiths busy before Eid-ul-Azha in Pabna
PABNA, Aug 8: Aiming at the markets of Holy Eid-ul-Azha, blacksmiths and knife sharpeners of various upazilas in the district are now spending busy time with their jobs.
They are busy making knives, machetes and choppers for slicing the flesh of sacrificial animals.
It is learnt that the profession of black-smithy remained a very profitable profession even three to four decades ago when there was tremendous demand for iron and steel made tools including the sharp edge of ploughs, cylindrical shaped outer shield of wheels of cattle driven carts, knives, sickles, choppers and other such tools.
But, nowadays, due to introduction of mechanical ploughs, tractors or power tillers, mechanised vehicles and machine-driven harvesters, the use of those age old iron or steel tools has been obliterated. As a result, thousands of blacksmiths who used to earn their livelihood by making those indigenous tools for centuries are now switching to other professions.
According to Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Pabna office and other sources, there were over 445 blacksmiths in the district about 25 to 30 years ago, but now their number has come down to about 200.
Blacksmith Jonab Ali of Tebunia Bazaar under Pabna Sadar Upazila said only this time in the year the demand of their products increases centring Eid-ul-Azha. Blacksmiths make indispensable household and agricultural appliances like chopper, axe, knife, crowbar, chisel, hammer, saw, spade, cleaver, yoke, shovel, blade, hook, mallet, punch, nail, hoe, sickle, pickaxe etc for the people demand, he added.
While visiting a densely populated area in Kalidah-Betepara under Pabna Sadar Upazila, this correspondent found that all are passing busy moments making and selling their products.
Kalipada Shaha, a 45-year old blacksmith of the area said, "We remain workless about 10 months in the year but on the arrival of Eid-ul-Azha, we become happy."
Blacksmith Bibhuti Kumar Karmokar of Kalidah-Betepara Kamarpara in the upazila said bank loan on easy term might help them make more iron-made goods for marketing in various haats, bazaars and fairs.
At the same time, the knife sharpeners were found to move from door to door to sharpen knives and other cutting tools.
Such hastiness of the blacksmith and the knives sharpeners will continue till the night before Eid-ul-Azha.