Boat craftsmen struggle for survival in Narail

Twenty-five families, who have kept the boat-making craftsmanship alive for smooth movement in the monsoon, are struggling to keep their heads above water in summer. Residents of the densely-populated deltaic country face difficulty moving in the rainy season when many roads go under water in low-lying areas. Boats then become an essential tool for commuting, particularly in remote villages.

But boat making is now a dying art. Fortunately, some members of 25 families in Dahar Ramsidhi village in Bashgram union of Narail Sadar upazila have kept the profession of making boats alive for generations. The people of the area throng the boat market every year ahead of monsoon and buy different types of wooden boats every Wednesday. The artisans display at least 70 to 80 boats every week. Boat craftsman Nikhil Biswas, 50, of Ramsidhi said the people of his village have been making boats for many generations.

They make boats for five months (Bengali month Ashar to Kartik) for their survival but face trouble when the demand for boats decline in summer, he added.