Puffed rice (Muri) is one of the most essential and tasty item of ‘Iftar’ during the holy Ramadan everywhere across the country. Though it has demand throughout the year, but during the holy month of Ramadan its demand increases sharply.
Most of the consumers depend on the puffed rice which is available in the markets. But most of those are not pure and healthy as it is adulterated with various unhealthy and poisonous chemicals.
The village women of Nabagram, Dhalai, Uvajani and Sarupai under Nabagram union of Manikganj Sadar upazila and Purbopara village under Daulatpur upazila of the district have been making hand fry puffed rice generation after generation.
Throughout the year the people of those villages especially the women are busy to make puffed rice. But during the Ramadan their business reaches its peak.
Anwar Hossain (38) of village Dhalai said his family depends on puffed rice trading. They collect special paddy named ‘Bhushibhanga’ from Barisal district and make Muri from that paddy. This kind of ‘Muri’ is big in size, its colour is light brown and delicious. Anwar said, “We do not use any chemical. So it has a huge demand in markets.”
Like Anwar more than 14 families make chemical free Muri in their village. A lot of wholesale dealers buy their Muri from their houses.
Sometimes they also sell their products directly in the markets and earn more profit. The Per Kg. muri they sell to wholesale dealers are at a cost of Tk 100-110. But retail price is between Tk 130-140. For trading Muri, Anwar built a tin-shed house, sanitary latrine. He also bought two bighas of land.
He is now self reliant. Like Anwar, some families are also living their life trading Muri.
But some poor Muri makers said that they were running their business taking loan from banks. They also claimed that the chemical mixed Muri is attractive to look at but it is injurious to health. But most people are being cheated as they buy the chemical mixed Muri from the markets.
Some of the muri makers of remote areas said they do not get proper price of their products from the middle man.
Salma Khatun, a middle aged woman of Sarupai village said, “I have started making hand frying muri from the very beginning of my marriage before 35 years ago. With the help of my husband and other members we make three to four mounds of fresh hand frying muri everyday”. “During the month of holy Ramadan, we have to work more to meet the demand of market, she added, reports BSS.
Many families of Sarupai village are engaged in making hand frying chemical free muri everyday. The whole sale dealers collect those muri from those village and supply them to the different parts of the country including capital city Dhaka.
The people of those localities know those villages as ‘Muri Village’. Ward member of Nabagram Union Parishad Ali Ahmad said, ‘We are getting chemical free Muri from those Muri makers and they are maintaining their livelihood by making Muri.”
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