RANGPUR, Apr 18: A good number of extreme poor men and women in different villages of Gangachara upazila in Rangpur district have attained financial solvency by manufacturing Benarasi sarees in recent years.
Several hundred vulnerable people, especially women in the upazila, are directly engaged in weaving Benarasi sarees and thus they are supporting their families by earning around Tk 3,000 to Tk 4,000 per month.
Abdur Rahman, owner of a Benarasi factory at Habu Tantipara village under the upazila told The Financial Express that he has 32 handlooms. The sarees which they make are sold at different rates between Tk 1,500 to Tk 20,000 depending on qualities.
The creative weavers always introduce something new and come up with fashionable varieties of sarees on the eve of various festivals. They weave yarn and turn them into different qualities and kinds including 'Nakshi', 'Belbuti' 'Katan' 'Fulkoli' etc which have high demands in different areas of the country, added.
Ratna Begum (35) wife of Hakim Mia at Soudpara village under the upazila told The Financial Express that she had been passing her days in extreme poverty even 2 years ago. Her husband was a farm labourer. She had to face difficulties in maintaining her family of five members with the petty amount of income of her husband.
In order to salvage their impoverished family she learned the skill of weaving Benarasi saree, thanks to a training she received at Fiyaz Benarasi factory in the area. Thus she found the way to get rid of acute poverty by contributing financially to her family income.
At present she weaves Benarasi saree as per designs and orders alongside her daily household chores, she added. Like Ratna many other rural vulnerable women at different villages under the upazila have changed their fortune by weaving Benarasi sarees.
Some workers of Benarasi sarees told FE that they get Tk 500 to Tk 800 for manufacturing each sarees. At least 4 to 6 days are needed to make a saree depending on design and quality, they also said.
"Earlier we passed days in near starvation but now we have changed our financial condition by weaving Benarasi saree as it has huge demand in the market", they added.
Talking to The Financial Express Farida Begum, owner of Fiyaz Benarasi factory said Benarasi saree weaving has become a blessing for the poor men and women of different areas in the upazila as it has provided them a way to earn their livelihood, she added.