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Panbari cane furniture makers struggling to survive

By Correspondent

DHUBRI, July 27 - The lockdowns and their consequent restricted movements and then the floods, has affected cane furniture makers of Panbari area of Dhubri district so hard that they are now finding it hard even to survive.

Almost 50 families in the Panbari area make their living by making and selling cane furniture. This furniture from the Panbari area is sold all over the Assam and is also taken to many parts of the country. However, since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the makers of these furniture are finding no buyers for their handmade products.

�We have been dealing with these furniture products for generations, and I have been doing this since I was a child, but I have never seen such bad days�, said Gulam Hussain a cane furniture maker.

�Leave exporting the furniture to other places, we don�t even find local buyers�, said Sukur Ali, another such skilled labour.

They also said that their godowns are filled with products, but there are no buyers. �A few of our shops, like mine are located on the highway. Earlier, many commuters used to stop by in our shops and buy small furniture like cane stools, cane baby swings, cane tables etc., but now such customers are also hard to find�, added Ali.

�There are almost 50 families here at Panbari area, who are directly engaged with the business of cane furniture since generations. Most of them are furniture makers, while a few are sellers and a few procure raw materials for others�, added Hussain, �All these families are finding it hard to survive�.

They also expressed that flooding in other parts of the State also affects their business every year, and revives after flood, but this year they have no hope. �It has become very hard to survive, most of us have no other alternative except being dependent on the business�, Hussain added.

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