In Kishoreganj’s Tarail, Karimganj, Bajitpur, Kuliarchar and Bhairab upazilas, more than a hundred working class families make ends meet by collecting and selling water lilies and lotus flowers.
These families collect water lilies and lotus flowers from local canals and vast marshy lands to sell them in the market. During the monsoon and autumn seasons, these families earn their daily livelihood by selling the water-borne flowers for about four months every year.
Visiting the spot it was seen that farmers and day laborers pick up water lilies and lotus flowers from morning till afternoon and bring them back to shore in boats. Later in the afternoon the wholesalers came to buy the flowers and take them to different markets including the ones in scapital Dhaka. A large number of farmers and day laborers are involved in selling water lilies and lotus flowers during the monsoon and autumn seasons as no capital is required to sell these flowers. All you have to do is pick water lilies and lotus flowers from the submerged land and then go to different markets to sell them.
Water lilies and lotus flowers are usually found from the Bengali month of Joistha to Kartik. Now a day, many people are making a living by selling water lilies and lotus flowers in the district. Abdul Hakim, a collector and seller of water lilies and lotus flowers said, “I have been picking these flowers and selling them in the market for over 10 years. My life runs on water lilies and lotus flowers.
Sirajul Islam and Matin Bhuiyan said, “As soon as the season starts, we pick water lilies and lotus flowers to sell them to the wholesalers. I run my family, send my children to school and continue my life by selling these flowers.” Shahjahan, another collector of water lilies and lotus flowers said, “At present, everyone can collect at least 30 to a maximum of 40 bunches (60 pieces makes a bunch) of water lilies and lotus flowers. The wholesalers collect these flowers from us and take them away for sale elsewhere.”
Touhidul, a wholesaler from Dhala Union of Tarail Upazila, said, “I buy about 1.5 to 2 thousand bunches of water lilies and lotus flowers from the collectors every day at the rate of Tk 10-20 per bunch.