TEZPUR, Jan 5 � At a time when the excessive use of plastic goods in our daily life is creating a major environmental hazard, a group of 13 people from Chapra district of Bihar have been able to set an example in the Thelamara area near here by making duli, a bamboo- made container for safe and easy keeping of crops to meet the needs of a large number of agrarian people of Sonitpur district and earning a good livelihood for the last 39 years.
These people are not simply makers of this bamboo product but commendable artisans who have been producing this bamboo eco-friendly object on a large scale in this area amidst various challenges created by modern technologies. The demand of duli is very high and the artisans are seen busy making this item during the crop harvesting seasons.
�We have very little time to spare as all of us including children who are here strive only for making Duli,� said Srikumar Mahatu who came to Thelamara with his father 30 years back for making Duli when he was only 13 years old. He added that the job of making duli is not only their livelihood but an economically viable way to help a section of the agro-based country.
Making duli during this harvesting season is special for Srikumar Mahatu and his thirteen-member team at Thelamara.
Duli is a common bamboo-made harvest container used by both rich and poor farmers particularly during this season and this group of artisans comprising people of all age groups from 10-year-old children to 50-year-old people, who work round the clock.
Srikumar Mahatu, who has been the team leader of this 13 member group for the last 30 years in this business here at Thelamara told this correspondent that by selling duli they earn more than Rs 2 lakh a year based on which these artisans have been leading a somewhat comfortable life and meeting the needs of the agrarian people of the greater area and the district as well.
As this harvesting season is a busy time for these duli makers and many buyers come to them for placing orders, they assign several hours regularly to the making of duli. Moreover, to spread business network they collect orders from the villages. Remarkably, following certain extra advantages of use of duli like easy handling and placement, less spacious place etc, people from various places of the district have placed a good number of orders for the item.
However, drawing attention to the question of steep price hike of each and every item including bamboo, Srikumar maintained that due to the high price of the bamboo they are also bound to increase the rate of the duli based on its size.
�Duli making is an integral part of the culture and heritage and is of economic importance in the high reaches of the agro-based economy of the society of the Bihari people, more particularly for those who hail from Chapra district�, said another artisan of the group adding that it is more important to mention here that there are a few children among them who were deprived of achieving even the most basic education due to abject poverty are today managing the required cost of schooling and also provide the much-needed succour to their family.