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Quilt-makers in Gaibandha back in business

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A Correspondent
Gaibandha: As the winter approaches, the preparation to welcome the chill of the season has started both in the town and rural areas through weaving quilts and blankets, with women spearheading the drive in the agricul-ture-based villages of the district's Naldanga union parishad.
While the women are passing a busy time in weaving colorful quilts, the villages including College para, Na-mapara, Bhatiapara and others, have already gained the title as 'villages of quilts and blankets'.
Houses, courtyards and even pond sides of the villages are abuzz with the working women amid the dropping temperature.
Though a city worker receives up to Tk 300 for weaving a single quilt, the women of these villages receive only Tk 20-25 for each quilt, as traders use them as cheap labourers.
Momena Khatun, a female weaver, told that the traders give them all the raw materials, from cotton to needles, and they only stitch quilts, receiving Tk 20-25 for a single piece.
When the weavers can weave 4-5 quilts a day, it leaves them with Tk 100-150 per day which helps them con-tribute to their family income, she added.
Like Momena Khatun, there are Rizia Begum, Momtaz Begum, Rani Khatun, Lovely, Jamila Akter and many more women who are involved in this work.
As winter is a slow season agriculture-wise, the women do not complain about low wages either.
On the other hand, the sellers buy the quilts in bulk from the traders and sell those in villages, so their profit margin remains steady at Tk 20-25 and people can buy cheap quilts and blankets as well, said seller Abdul Malek.
Abdur Rahman, one of the traders, told that this business benefits both the traders and the rural women. Traders provide materials to the women so that they can weave quilts and blankets for them, which they sell to whole-salers and retailers alike.
And thus, the women of these villages are not only weaving quilts and blankets for the rich, but also weaving their dream for a better life with some extra income this season.