5,000 families at Baraigram earn livelihood making chai
BARAIGRAM, NATORE, Aug 23: About 5,000 families at Baraigram Upazila of the district earn livelihood making chai (one kind of fishing trap).
Low income group people of the upazila have no work during the rainy season. Therefore, they have chosen an alternative income source by making chai. As different small and large varieties of fishes are available in local water bodies including Chalan Beel (water body) this season, the demand of the chai rises.
Meanwhile, a large number of handmade chais are brought to Moukhara Haat in the upazila. This haat sits on every Friday of the week. People come here to sell chai from Baraigram, Gurudaspur and Singra upazilas of the district, and Chatmohor Upazila of Pabna. Besides, the people of Chalan Beel area, many wholesalers of Manikganj District come here to purchase chai.
While talking to the chai makers, it was known that they are all day-labourers and low income people. As they have no land, they have no job in the monsoon season. They make chai to earn money as a substitute income to run their families. As it requires less capital, they do not face any problem in this business.
Abdul Baten of Chandipur Village in Baraigram Upazila said the chai is made of bamboos, palm trees and nylon thread. At least five or six chais can be made in a day if all the family members work together. Large families which have more members can produce 10 to 15 chais in a day. It needs Tk 80 to 160 to make a chai, and it is sold at Tk 220 to 350. As the profit is better, many middle income groups of people are now showing their interest in this business.
Baraigram Union Parishad Chairman Md Momin Ali said there are beels around the whole union. The locals started making chais for their own needs. At present, more than 5,000 people in the union are making and selling these fishing traps to run their families. Many others are nowadays getting involved in this business in other upazilas.
He also said several fishing traps, including chai, dhundi, bana, khadan, khalai, bitti, and varoi are also available in local markets. A pair of chai of different sizes is sold at Tk 500 to 550, bitti at Tk 350, varoi at Tk 300, dhundi at Tk 250, bana at Tk 400, khadan at Tk 450, and khalai at Tk 200 in the market.
Abdul Khalek and Yakub Ali- wholesalers from Manikganj said they buy various fishing traps including chai and bana worth about Tk 1 lakh from each haat, and earn about Tk 25,000 from per haat. They sell those at different districts, including Dhaka.