POST TIME: 6 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Broom making gains popularity in Kalihati
Our Correspondent, Tangail

Broom making gains popularity in Kalihati

A worker makes brooms at Kalihati in Tangail. INDEPENDENT PHOTO

Over 1,000 youths are engaged in the production and marketing of sweeping brooms in Kalihati upazila. Large numbers of broom factories are shoring up the local economy by helping owners and workers to increase their earnings.

Sources say 20 broom factories, employing more than 1,000 male and female workers, have recently been established in 10 villages of Durgapur and Gohaliabari unions under Kalihati upazila.

Earlier, brooms made of bamboo were in great demand across the country, but sweeping brooms, locally known as "fuljharus", are now in vogue in educational institutions, offices, houses, and trading centres across the country. These brooms are made from "uluful", a kind of flower that grows naturally in Chittagong.

The "uluful" plant is now being commercially cultivated. A truckload of this flower now sells for Tk. 7–8 lakh.

Lutofor Rahman, a trader, told The Independent that he bought uluful from Chittagong to make brooms. Pipes, tapes, ribbons, and expertise are needed to make sweeping brooms. About 20,000 pieces of this type of broom are being produced daily for sale in the area.

Wholesalers and retailers come to the villages daily to buy these brooms. One piece fetches Tk. 15–20 for the manufacturer.

Solaiman Hossain, owner of a broom factory, said he had been in the trade since 2001. He started his business with a small capital of Tk. 7,000. He has already invested Tk. 30 lakh. He markets these brooms in Dhaka and north Bengal districts. He seeks government’s patronage to expand business.

Jabber, a worker in a broom factory, said: “I earn Tk. 400–500 a day. My wife also works part-time. We have two school-going kids. We're living well by working in the factories.”

Anowar Hossain, chairman of Durgapur union, said hundreds of families were dependent on the industry and became economically self-sufficient.

Mazharul Islam Talukder, chairman of Kalihati upazila parisad, said people living in the Jamuna river basin had been striving hard to establish the broom industry. He also said the expansion of the industry would generate more employment and help develop the area.