Cottage industries flourishing in Jhenaidah, Magura

Conch-shell bangles go to other parts of country

Published : 04 Feb 2024 10:13 PM

Cottage industries have been expanding in different areas of Jhenaidah and Magura districts with the cooperation of banks loans to the industry owners. It has been helping reduce the import of finished conch-shells meant for the Hindu community women from India and some other neighbouring countries. 

Now the conch-shells are processed from the original cells imported with least cost and adding value on the government revenue every year. This sort of small-scale cottage industries is found at Arpara Bazer under Salikha upazila of Magura. They have been processing the conch-shells and sending the finished goods to other district after meeting the local demands of the Hindu community women at large scale, said the entrepreneurs. 

The Hindu community women rush to his shop to collect conch shell-made ‘churi’, widely known as ‘bala’ and shell-made ‘shankha’ used for horning in every morning and evening in the Hindu houses and temples for puja. 

When contacted, Anup Kumar Dutt, 39, the owner of Maa Durga Shankha Bhandar at his sankha making factory at Salikha Bazer said, earlier they used to import finish goods like ‘sankha’ and similar products from neighboring India and some other countries against huge foreign currency. 

It was almost costly.

 Now they import the shells at a competitive price and processing, and preparing finished products that has been saving huge foreign currency. Initially he received an amount of Taka five lakh as seed money from local branch of the Sonali Bank which they had increased to Taka 49 lakh in three years. Many of the traders were benefitted from the bank support.

Some Hari Kumar Datta, an employee of Maa Durga Shankha Bhander, said the women also collect ‘sindur’ and other puja and festival related items from their shop and its adjacent showroom. About five to six young men have been working in each factory and earning taka 30 to 35 thousand a month where they serve for six to seven hours a day.

 The number of workers has been increasing daily.  

When contacted, Alamgir Hasan, manager of Sonali Bank Limited at Salikha said, usually other banks do not show eagerness to invest finance for small and cottage-based enterprises. But considering the potential of the cottage industries and employment of youths, Sonali Bank Limited had been investing to the small traders so that they could expand business gradually and improve their socio-economic state faster. 

The Bank manager said, the least solvent businessmen were facing severe financial crisis that was hampering the expansion of the enterprises.

Many of them had left the business then. The bank investment has been helping strengthen the socio-economic state of the entrepreneurs. 

When contacted Sonali Bank Limited deputy general manager (DGM) Abdullah Al Momen in Jhenaidah hub said, his bank has been investing finance for any potential institutions or individuals like the conch-shell based factories. The conch-shell based traders have been playing role to save huge foreign currency, bank manager Alamgir Hasan said.