As winter is approaching in Rajshahi at a slow pace, hundreds of low-income groups of people are thronging the make-shift warm clothes markets on the footpaths and on various city road crossings to purchase warm clothes.
According to Meteorological Office sources in Rajshahi, the shivering cold of winter season is yet to grip the people of Rajshahi. Many people think the winter is being delayed this year. Though it is the end of November, many people in the district are still using electric fans and even Air coolers to get rid of warm weather in the daytime. However, the nights are cold and people need to wrap themselves with wrappers or sheets of clothes during sleeping at night. Such condition of weather seems unnatural to the people of the district though the meteorological office sources in Rajshahi termed such situation of weather during this time of season as nothing abnormal.
Meanwhile, to save from the grip of approaching cold, thousands of low and the fixed income-group people including day labourers, rickshaw- pullers and workers of different government and private organisations of the North-Western region are thronging at the footpath-cloth stores to buy warm clothes, but, even at the footpath markets of the city, the price of warm clothes was a bit higher this year in compared to previous years, informed Rafiqul Islam, an owner of the old-cloth ( second hand) shop at Railgate Foot path market of the city. He mentioned that various kinds of old, warm clothes, both woollen and cotton, have started to arrive in the markets. The price seems a bit higher during the start of the winter season but he hoped, the price would come down with the increased supply of those soon.
The poor people are seen to flock to the footpath and the makeshift shops at Ganakpara Square, Shahebbazar, New Market, Laxmipur Square, Station roadside, Zero Point and Sonadighi crossing to purchase second-hand warm clothes including sweaters, jackets, cardigans, woollen caps and mufflers, wrappers, blankets and coat. High demand for these garments has increased the price by 50 per cent over the last year.
Bulbuli Khatun(50), a housemaid of the Maskatadighi area under Tanore upazila was seen visiting the railway roadside market near the rail gate on Monday noon. She informed she works as a housemaid at a house in the Tikpara area of the city. " I have to start in the morning from my house and have to work till afternoon. It is cold during the morning and at night that is why I am visiting Rajshahi Second hand cloth markets to purchase a woollen sweater and a shalwar to wear during cool weather.". She further said she would also like to purchase some warm clothing for her daughter. But, she complained, the price of warm clothes was higher this year. A woollen sweater was not available below Taka 250 and the price of a piece of salwar was also not less than Taka 200, she informed.
Abdul Hannan(65), a retired school teacher of Rajshahi was seen to visit Ganakpara warm cloth markets. He informed, me there are many second-hand warm clothes on sale in the markets which look amazingly new. No one will have the idea that those clothes were purchased from second-hand, old-cloth markets. He said he would purchase a jeans pant and a leather jacket from the market.
Abul Hossain (40), who sells second-hand warm clothes including jeans jackets, woollen blazers and sweaters at Ganakpara market, claimed many rich men were also crowding here to buy second-hand warm clothes. The youths in particular are frequently visiting the market to buy different items as their quality and designs are better than new ones,' he added.
Most of them are failing to buy one because of the higher price this year. However, he said, the price would decrease with the supply of more clothes. He also added that the price of quality clothes is always a bit higher. And there are varieties of items to sell with varieties of prices. Both poor and middle-income groups of people have already started to visit the cloth markets of the cities and started bargaining. Within a week or two the number of customers of warm clothes would increase further, he added.