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Bandages bandage ailing cottage industry in Satkhira

  • Published at 12:46 pm June 30th, 2013
Bandages bandage ailing cottage industry in Satkhira

The surgical and roller bandages produced by the Nolta villagers in Kaliganj upazila are now being exported after fulfilling the local demand.

The destinations of these homemade bandages using power looms include many a country like Singapore, Thailand and Japan.

This contribution to the country’s export economy by the weavers of that small village is considered a major boost for local cottage industry.

The weavers in Poshchim Nolta, Maghulia, Madhyanolta, Purbanolta and Shonatikari villages under Nolta Union remain busy dawn-to-dusk making the bandages.

Around 8000 people including men and women of Kaliganj live on the loom industry.

The liaison officer of Bangladesh Handloom Board at Kaliganj office said the bandages manufactured here in the villages are of excellent quality.

But like many other fields, the middlemen have not spared them too. The weavers complained that a big portion of their profit is being eaten up by those middlemen. In this circumstance, they demanded the government help them enjoy full benefits of their products.

The government’s help to free the industry from the grip of middlemen will not only benefit the weavers but also bring increased revenue for the national exchequer.

This is the reason why traders chose to buy gauze bandage from them and send abroad, said the officer.

The handloom industry has a long tradition in the village doing successful business over the years. The villagers say the industry have even changed the fate of many of them. A weaver currently earns Tk250 to Tk300 a day working in the loom factories.

“My ancestors used to earn their livelihood from the handloom industry. Now, I am also running the business successfully,” said Uday Kumar of Poshchim Nolta village, who also survives on the industry.

He said garments like saree, ‘lungi’ and ‘gamchha’ were produced in Nolta villages, but after huge losses, the operation of handlooms came to a halt.

Uday later replaced his handloom with a power loom following an advice from an official of Bangladesh Handloom Board. The replacement proved to be a game-changer in Uday’s business.

Uday has a number of 25 power looms currently in round-the-clock operation making fabric from yarn.

Some 200-250 belts bandages are produced in his factory every month, and a portion of those products is exported.

A weaver of Purbanolta village, Abdul Jalil, said some buying houses based in Dhaka and Narayanganj purchase the bandages to ship them to foreign countries.