There are many species of flowers in our country. Among them, Water Lilly (Shapla) is our national flower. This flower grows hugely in ponds, Dighis, canals and marshy lands of our country. It is born and grown in a natural way.
Shapla flowers are available from mid-monsoon to late autumn. The stems and roots of this flower remain under the water and the leaves and flowers float on the water.
The children of the village come in groups and pick water lilies in the monsoon. They make garlands with stalks.
Although Shapla is our national flower, it’s one of the means of earning livelihood for many in the rural areas of Bangladesh.
Shapla is considered as a delicious vegetable. Shapla now remains there on the menu of some rich people while some people once used to eat Shapla as the substitute of rice for lack of food.
Till today, the destitute or extremely poor people beside their food, make their livelihoods by selling water lilies during the monsoon. And thus they meet the needs of the family.
On the days of weekly Hat in Chitalmari, many Shapla sellers are still found. Liton Sheikh, a shapla trader from Basbaria village in Tungipara, said that his family is making a living by selling shapla. He runs his moderately big family by selling it, he said.
During the monsoon, he collects Shapla from the beel, lake and haor areas of the upazila and go to the nearby hats and bazaars to sell these, he added.
Hamim Sheikh, a seller of Shapla from Shanti Khali village of Chitalmari said that during this covid pandemic, he has to collect Shapla to make their livelihood since he has no work now to do.
Like Liton and Hamim, there are many who make a living by selling Shapla, our national flower to survive during rainy season.