A community that once lived off hunting in Jhenidah switched to business from making bamboo items. The men and women in the community make a range of items from bamboo sticks to sell in different markets in the district.
There are at least 35 families residing in the government allotted lands of Mukta Abashan project, who are involved in the trade and earning a respectable living.
They make flat baskets, covers, winnowing fans, flower baskets and wooden trays.
Children in the communities also aid their parents and elders, painting the bamboo strife green, yellow or red.
They buy a single bamboo stick at Tk 200, and they can make about 200 baskets from it.
These bamboo items make way to markets in Meherpur, Pabna, Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Bagerhat, apart from local markets in Jhenidah.
Rekha Rani Badth, a bamboo crafter, makes these items six days a week and supplies to the Kaliganj market.
In addition, bamboo item wholesalers even purchase directly form the project, she said. From each bamboo stick, they can make a profit of Tk 300 by selling the items, she added.
“It is a profitable business and we are leading a solvent life because the items are high in demand.”
Rana Kumar Badth, a student of class five in BRAC School under the Abashan, makes baskets after school hours. He can contribute to his educational expenses by making bamboo items.
Shampa Rani Badth, a student of class three, says it is easy to make the items in her free time.
Bipul Badth, a wholesale buyer from Manikganj, said he comes here twice a month to buy these bamboo items. He supplies the goods the markets in Manikganj and Dhaka.
Another wholesaler, Subal Chandra Das of Fazilpur village in Kaliganj upazila, supplies the items to markets in Jhenidah and Magura. He also bags good profits from this trade for the high demand.
Bamboo trader Nimay Chandra Biswas of Balarampur village under Kaliganj upazila said the men of the once hunting community buy bamboo all year round to run their business.