Kishoreganj blacksmiths in despair for pandemic before Eid

Published : 17 Jul 2021 09:18 PM

Although the strict lockdown has been relaxed, the thumping sound of the blacksmiths of Kishoreganj is not being heard like other years ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

Though the blacksmiths are supposed to spend their busy time ahead of the Eid, nationwide spread of Covid-19 infection and ongoing lockdown gave them a little opportunity to thrive.

After visiting Akhra Bazar, Bara Bazar and Puranthana Bazar area, it can be said that little activities could be seen in making and repairing knives, machetes and choppers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha like other years. Some people are crowding the forges.

Blacksmiths idly sitting in the shops are waiting for buyers. They hope that as the haats are being installed, orders for making knives will arrive soon from the customers.

Local blacksmiths of Kishoreganj said that the price of coal has been increased by a lot due to the lockdown. Price of iron is also high as they have to buy iron for Tk 65-70 per kilogram. Despite the price hike, business is falling due to lack of customers. 

Blacksmiths in the area are charging 500 taka including wages for making a big knife with 1 kg of iron, 100 taka for skinless knife, 500 to 1000 taka depending on the type of machete and 500 to 700 taka for slaughtering knife. They charge 80 taka for sharpening a machete, 60 to 50 for sharpening a knife depending on the size.

 Buyers complain that the price of choppers and knives is higher now than at any other time. The blacksmiths say that the prices of these items made of iron have gone up this year as compared to last year due to the increase in the wages of the workers, the price of iron and coal.

Blaksmith Abdul Gafur said, we cannot maintain a steady business due to lockdown.I never thought we would have such a bad time. This pandemic is crushing many of the small time business sectors like blacksmithing. Authorities should help us to survive this pandemic.

Swapan Karmakar, a blacksmith in Kishoreganj's Bara Bazar, said the workload is much less this time than ever.

He used to come to the shop very early in the morning and he had to work all day long to fulfill the demand of buyers.

Now that the workload is less, he does not have to work more than 4/5 hours. Thus the payment is far less than before.

Blacksmiths in the area are hoping that the workflow will increase before Eid.