Corona eats up capital of handloom weavers at Bagatipara
BAGATIPARA, NATORE, June 11: Handloom cloth weavers in Bagatipara Upazila of the district are passing days in hardship.
Amid corona pandemic, they have spent their working capital in order to maintain meal and other needs. At present, they are in capital crisis.
Earlier, they were running their lives well on profits from sale of their manufactured clothes. But due to the pandemic they have suffered an irrecoverable setback. Many of them have turned indebted.
Weavers of Maria Village in the upazila said, without government patronisation, it will not be possible for them to keep up their forefathers' profession.
Locals said, weaving activities would be going on in most houses of Maria area; for the whole day, colourful gamchha (one kind of towel), lungi, sari and other items would be waived by housewives; later these would be sold in different village haats and bazaars by their husbdands; and traders would also come from different areas to purchase clothes.
At present, there are handlooms in only 36 houses of the village. Only gamchha is being produced in these looms; but many of these makers have turned capital lost; they are passing days in acute hardship.
A visit to Maria Village found weaving looms on verandas of different houses; women were seen weaving busily. While talking with this correspondent, they expressed their frustration about their dull business.
Maker Niamat Ali said, they, husband and wife, are used to pass their whole day by weaving gamchha; they can weave nine to 10 pieces in a day. Later, Niamat Ali sells these in different haats and bazaars through ferrying by bi-cycle. But at present it has been difficult to stay in the market due to competition, he added.
In keeping up their forefathers' profession, they have fallen in disarray. "We can neither surviver nor quit", they maintained.
Parul Begum said, afte her marriage, she has been doing this work for the last 40 years. According to her, prices of weaving items are increasing day by day, but the gamchha price is not increasing proportionately.
Her one son and two daughters have been married; they are living separately. They get a profit of Tk 80 to 100 from sales of their produce. But this amount is too small to run life, she mentioned.
Chairman of Panka Union Amjad Hossain said, in the last year, some assistance was made to handloom weavers. They will be provided with allocation in the next budget, he added.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Priyanka Debi Pal said, she has been informed about their problem.
There are some scopes for them under Annual Development Programme (ADP), she added.
She also gave assurance of some allocation for them under the new ADP.