Although the demand for bamboo made items is gradually falling, many people in northern parts of the country are still pursuing their ancestral business. Some of the bamboo products are still in demand in both rural and urban areas.
Many people are still leading life through bamboo basket manufacturing as its demand increases during every harvesting seasons of mango, litchi, tomato, and some other crops.
It was known that a good number of indigenous families at Adivasi Palli of Mahelipara village at Chatra union under Pirganj upazila in Rangpur are earning their living by making different bamboo products. Bamboo crafts are main sources of income of the people of Adivasi Palli.
Many families belonging to aboriginal Santal community of the Adivasi Palli are engaged in making household appliances from bamboo and thus earning their livelihood.
Nowadays, the cottage industries based on bamboo, cane and some other fibrous plants are losing attraction with the flourishing of plastic goods in the market. But the people of the area are still involved in the ancestral business. They make different types of baskets, winnowing-fan, hand-fans, sitting stools, fish-traps,, cradles and other necessary household products, said some people of the area.
A number of craftsmen of the Adivasi Palli said that many bamboo products are now on the verge of extinction and have been replaced by plastic goods. Now plastic goods have flooded the markets everywhere.Arun Mardi, one of the artisans of Adivasi Palli, said that usually they maks different bamboo made items like winnowing-fans and baskets. Production costs also increased several times. So many of them have already lost their ancestral profession and the rest are struggling a lot for their living.
Kalpona Mardi, Surovi Mardi and some other artisans of Adivasi Palli echoed the same as Arun Mardi.
“I can make three to four baskets daily. It costs me around Tk 550 to Tk 600. I make net profit Tk about 3000 per week,” said Kalpona Mardi. The craftsmen claimed that most of the times they do not get fair price of their products owing to lack of marketing facilities. They are often compelled to sell their products at lower prices, they said.
They said that if the government or non-government organisations give them financial supports such as low-interest loan, it would be better for them to continue their profession. They also stressed the need for government patronisation for their survival.