GAURIPUR, April 24 - Professional artisans of Dhubri have been struggling for their livelihood since the lockdown was announced.
The artisans living in the town and the rural areas of the district, like Gauripur, Debottar Hasdaha, Kheksiali, Uchita, Jhapsabari, Biskhowa, Moterjhar, Kachuarkhas, etc., have long been earning their livelihood by making idols of gods and goddesses but the ongoing lockdown has hit them very hard.
Generally, this time of the year is marked by various religious events like Basanti Puja, Chadak Puja, Ashtami Mela, Bohag Ganesh Puja and the artisans here make a good amount of money by making idols of gods and goddesses. But due to the lockdown, the artisans here have faced tremendous loss as they could not sell their products.
Karen Malakar, a state awardee of sholapith craft, told this correspondent that before lockdown he used to earn Rs 5,000 to 8,000 per month but presently, his income stands zero.
Similar opinions were expressed by artisans like Dulal Malakar of Debottar Hasdaha, Rabindra Nath Malakar of Kheksiali, Hemanta Malakar of Uchita, Amulya Malakar of Jhapsabari Part-V, Pabitra Malakar and Ratan Malakar of Moterjhar, Dulal Malakar of Kachuarkhas villages. As almost all the artisans belong to BPL category, the government should come forward to help them survive, some of the artisans here said.