NAOGAON, Sept 24: The traditional pottery industry in Badalgachhi upazila of the district is on the verge of extinction. Hundreds of potters in the area have been thrown into uncertainty.
Many potters have already quit their ancestral profession being unable to cope with the problems engulfing the age-old industry. Even many have already left the country to the neighbouring India.
According to knowledgeable sources, in different unions of the upazila, over one hundred 'Pal' (potter) families used to create and supply various clays like plates, glass, pots, dolls, pan, ladle, bowl, spoon, tray, pitcher, jug, toys, flower tubs and many other utensils.
Fifteen to twenty years back there was a great demand of these items all over the country.
But at present, the potters are not earning the minimum income to survive with their family members.
Those glorious days of their profession are no more. With the advancement of modern technology, the idyllic days are gone. The potters are systematically marginalised due to the stiff competition. As a result, the pottery industry is literally gasping for breath.
Kamal Chandra Pal, Parimal Chandra Pal and Rajen Chandra Pal of Enaetpur Palpara village under the upazila said around 40 families in the area are now engaged in pottery industry.
But, high prices of necessary raw materials like kilts clays, dice, dye, fuel and dearth of capital have affected the industry adversely.
Besides, the demand for pottery products has fallen in the local markets due to availability of stainless steel and aluminium products to a considerable extent, they added.
In this regard, Lokman Hossain, assistant professor of the Social Work Department of the Molla Azad Memorial College in Atrai, said with the passage of time it is apprehended that the artisan community will have no other alternative but to adopt other jobs for their survival.
The government and non-government organisations should come forward for proper rehabilitation of the community and ensure marketing of their products which have already disappeared, he added.
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