Liton Pathan, Sylhet Bureau Chief:
More than two hundred families are becoming self-sufficient by making palm fans commercially in Madhabpur of Habiganj. It is being sold in different places of the country including upazilas. More than a hundred families from different areas including Panihata, Ghilatali, Gangail, Merashani, Mantala, Adair, Shahpur, Chaumuhani, Dharmaghar of Madhabpur upazila are making palm fans commercially.
The only source of income is palm fan making. They are now financially self-sufficient by making fans commercially and selling them in different parts of the country. In the scorching heat, public life has become breathtaking. In the scorching heat, the wind of palm fronds enlivens the people of rural Bengal. So the artisans of Pakha Palli are busy making palm fans.
Going to the spot, it was seen that the artisans of Pakha Palli are now busy. Some are cutting and sizing leaves, some are sewing, some are dyeing with yarn and bamboo. Someone is tying the burden of the fan. Although their body sweat falls to the ground due to their busy schedule, they do not have time to take the air of their own fan. At the beginning of the summer, the busyness of the artisans of the fan village increased several times. The fan made here is going to different districts and upazilas of the country.
Rustam Mia of Panihata village in Adair union said their family has been making fans for 20 to 25 years. In addition, about 50 families in their village are involved in fan making. The wives, daughters and sons of these families study and make fans. Three members of his family (wife, father and himself) work in fan making.
According to his wife, dye, yarn, bamboo, twigs and palm leaves are needed to make the fan. They buy a palm leaf for 5 rupees. And those who work in fan sewing get 1 rupees per fan. Those who work 100 jarasola get 10 rupees. All in all, it costs more than 7 rupees to make a fan. They sell fans at a wholesale rate of 10 to 12 rupees. An artisan can make 60 to 70 palm fans every day.
As a result, each artisan can earn around 250 to 300 rupees per day in the sales season, excluding all expenses. Wholesalers are now buying fans from home. I am working to keep their profession. About 10/12 families in our village are in the business of making palm fans. While our children have been helping adults in their work since childhood, they have also become proficient in making various designs of fans.
“I have three sons,” he said. Everyone is involved in fan making in different families. Md. Mursalin, another fan maker, said they have less capital. So they are still continuing this profession with little capital. If the government had provided free loans to the fan artisans, the industry could have been caught.
Craftsman Akkach Mia said there has been a huge demand for fans in the scorching heat of the day and the scorching heat of the night since the beginning of this summer. Fans are made in all the houses of the village. As a result, the village has become known as Talpakhar village. Every year during the monsoon season, wholesalers from many nearby districts come from this fan village and buy it with cash. They are still making fans to keep the former men’s profession.
Bachchu Mia of Kalikapur village in Madhabpur upazila said palm leaves are not always available as the main material for making hand fans. They buy the leaves of the saplings in the winter season. Then the leaves are dried in the sun and soaked in water. Then take it out of the water and cut the soft wet leaves into rounds and take them out from the middle. Then he tied the load and left the leaves in the room. Later he soaked it in water again and kept it for 24 hours and from there he made palm fans at home all year round. Two palm leaves are made from one palm leaf.
Craftsman Murshid Mia said that the season of fan sale is three months in Chaitra, Besakh and Jyastha of the year. When the weather is cold or the winter actually stops selling altogether. As a result, they have to continue earning for three months throughout the year. Surendra Sarkar, an artisan, said the price of a fan has gone up by around Tk 3 to 4 this year as compared to previous years. But the profit is less. Because everything is more expensive.
He added that it costs about 8 to 10 rupees to make each fan. It is being sold for around 12 to 15 rupees. However, wholesalers sell a fan for 15 to 20 rupees. However, as the demand for hand fans is high in very hot weather, at that time they sell a fan for 25 to 30 rupees.
Mohiuddin, president of Madhabpur Press Club, said most of the people in the upazila are poor. Get the opportunity to sell fans for three months of the year. The rest of the time is spent in their absence. As a result, they are eligible for low interest loans. Madhabpur Upazila Agriculture Officer Md. Al Mamun Hasan said, Upazila Youth Development Office gives loans in different ways. If the fan makers take training from Upazila Youth Development then they can take loan from there.
He assured that he would co-operate with them in this regard and added that if each family planted one palm tree, then after 1 year it would be suitable to make palm fan with leaves and even palm tree is a lightning protection tree. If this tree is in the house, it can be protected from lightning.