A market selling fishing nets in Jhalkathi

‘Ashahe badal name khal-bil thai thai, Tengra-punti tai ni hai chai jumped up’. Towards the end of Asadha, Toitumbur is surrounded by water including canals, rivers and canals. At this time, free movement of local fish is seen. In the fresh water of the month of Baisakh, fish breeds usually increase. People from all walks of life fish in village canals and open water bodies to catch chai-buchna (a type of fishing trap) to taste local fish. So the artisans are spending busy time to supply the demand and create demand for seasonal income.

It is known from the surface that Barikaran and Sarai villages of Kulkathi Union of Nalchiti Upazila of Jhalkathi district are famous for drinking. Apart from the betel growers of the area, other professions and working people are also not lagging behind in any field. They are trying to win the battle of life. The artisans are spending busy time weaving chai-bucha and net as seasonal work.

Not only the master of the house, wife, children, brothers, mother and father help in weaving. With their help, the weaving work has progressed a lot.

A market selling fishing nets in Jhalkathi

Delwar Hossain, a craftsman of Sarai village, said, ‘Each bamboo has to be bought for Tk 120 to Tk 150 in the month of Magh. After that bamboo is cut to size and soaked in water to make shala. 3 days a week I make shala out of bamboo. For the remaining 4 days, I make a living by driving rickshaws. It takes 220 to 250 shala to make each Buchna. A good bamboo can make 3 bamboos. I have started this work from the month of Magh. It will continue till the month of Ashwin. My brother Jalal, wife Najma, son Nazmul, daughter Meem, mother Nurbanu and father Sultan Sheikh are supporting me. I work every year with a loan from the bank due to lack of capital.’

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He also said, ‘We sell each bush from Tk 350 to Tk 500. I sell 60 bushels every Monday and Thursday at Jhalkathi Stadium Junction. Others buy wholesale from me. Household expenses, parents’ medical expenses, children’s education expenses and loan repayments are all equal to the annual income and expenses. I hope to live a little better if I get a loan on easy terms and without interest with government assistance.’

A market selling fishing nets in Jhalkathi

Artisans supply from one haat to another haat in Chai-Buchna district by sea and road. They are busy in weaving and selling during this season. Nalchiti Upazila Awami League’s organizing secretary and local UP chairman Aktaruzzaman Bachchu said, ‘Deloar’s activities fall under cottage industry. Unable to wake up due to financial problems. He could have been prosperous if he had received help.’

Assistant Monitoring and Quality Control Officer of Jhalkathi BSIC. Al Amin said, “If they come to us, the necessary cooperation can be done according to the rules.”

Md. Atiqur Rahman/SU/GKS