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Bangladesh Handloom Board (BHB) was established in 1977 as a Statutory Public Sector Organization under the administrative control of the Ministry of Textiles and Jute. The Board has been entrusted with the responsibility for overall development of the handloom sector of the country and to make welfare of the people engaged therein Historically handloom has got its predominance and heritages in Bangladesh. The tradition of weaving cloth by hand constitutes one of the richest aspects of Bangladesh culture and heritage. The level of artistry and intricacy achieved in handloom fabrics are unparallel and unique. The handloom can meet every need from exquisite fabrics of daily use. The industry has displayed innate resilience to withstand and adopt itself to the changing demand of modern times. Handloom sector in Bangladesh consists of more than 0.183 million handloom units with 0.505 million handlooms and about 1 million handloom weavers of which about 50% are female worker. A manpower of about one million weavers, dyers, hand spinners, embroiderers and allied artisans have been using their creative skills into more than 0.30 million active looms to produce around 620 million meters of fabrics annually. Production of these handloom fabrics is diffused in numerous production centers all over the country which are linked up by a network of primary, secondary and central markets. Weavers are being organized under the fold of BHB registered weaver's societies of three tiers viz. Primary, Secondary and Apex. At present there are 1262 primary weaver's societies, 57 secondary weaver's societies and 1 Apex society in the country. Bangladesh Handloom Board with its head quarter in Dhaka, has 9 Services Centers equipped with modern machinery, one Training Institute, one Training Unit and 30 Basic Centers located at different loom concentrated areas (mostly in the rural areas) of the country. These centers are engaged in providing technical, financial, advisory and extension services to the handloom weavers. For the development of Handloom sector and ensure well being of the handloom weavers, Bangladesh Handloom Board has been implementing a number of package programmes covering supply of input, innovation of suitable designs, financing of working capital, development of human resources, modernization of handloom technology, e Bangladesh Handloom Board established in January 1978 to safeguard the interests of the marginal weavers following an initiative of the government of Bangladesh for the welfare of weavers and for making the handloom industries profitable. The board conducts many activities for the modernisation of handloom industries in the country. Its head office is situated in DHAKA , but it has units at different locations. Its management is headed by a chairman, who is assisted by a secretary and four executive

members. The chairman, secretary and members are appointed on deputation from various ministries. They provide service in respective capacities. The chief registrar of the cooperative societies of Bangladesh, the chairman and the director of the Bangladesh Textile Corporation, the chairman of the Bangladesh Samabaya Shilpa Samiti, and a representative from the banking section of the Ministry of Finance are temporary members of the board. The board also consists of many permanent employees who are appointed by the government. The board conducts surveys to identify trends in the development of handloom industries and to take appropriate measures. It prepares and publishes the yearly statistics on the situation in the handloom industries. A top priority of the board is to arrange for the marketing of all kinds of handloom products. It informs people about new products through advertisements. The board plays an important role in organising credit for weavers and in supplying them with machinery and yarn. It also helps weaving units by arranging supply of spare parts, dice, chemicals, and other necessary materials. Training and COTTAGE INDUSTRY fairs are arranged at the board's initiative to encourage weavers. Bangladesh Handloom Board works with about one and a half million weavers of the country to develop handloom industries, the products of which can meet about 63% of country's demand for cloth. At present, the board emphasises providing of MICROCREDIT to weavers. The projects which are now under implementation by the board are a Services and Facility Centre (SFC), the Narsingdi Cloth Processing Centre (CPC), a Textile and Facilities Centre (IFC) and the Training Institutes at NARSINGDI and BERA. The board plans to establish a Benarashi Palli (village for weaving the benarashi type of SARI) at Mirpur (Dhaka) and ISHWARDI . Importance of Handlooms in Bangladesh Historically handloom has got its predominance and heritages in Bangladesh. The tradition of weaving cloth by hand constitutes one of the richest aspects of Bangladesh culture and heritage. The level of artistry and intricacy achieved in handloom fabrics are unparallel and unique. The handloom can meet every need from exquisite fabrics of daily use. The industry has displayed innate resilience to withstand and adopt itself to the changing demand of modern times. A manpower of about one million weavers, dyers, hand spinners, embroiderers and allied artisans have been using their creative skills into more than 0.30 million active looms to produce around 620 million meters of fabrics annually. It shares 63% of the total fabric production in the country designed for home consumption, meeting 40% of the local demand for fabrics. Besides, it provides employment opportunities to a million rural people, 50% of which are female. Another half a million people are indirectly engaged in the industry. It contributes more than 10 (ten) billion taka annually to the national exchequer as value addition. For the development of Handloom sector and ensure well being of the handloom weavers, Bangladesh Handloom Board has been implementing a number of package programmes covering supply of input, innovation of suitable designs, financing of working capital,

development of human resources, modernization of handloom technology, efficient marketing management and formation of sound weavers societies. In a world, the Handloom Industry has no alternative in the development of rural economy. fficient marketing management and formation of sound weavers societies.


"Bangladesh Ecotours"

1 Pictures available. The Land Of The hill track Khagrasori & Rangamati [3 days/2 nights] Day 1: Morning 9 am will start drive to Khagrasori on the way lunch will provide at our selective high way food court. On arrival at khagrasori guest will check in to Khagrasori Porjoton Motel resort. Dinner after over night at Porjoton motel. Day 2: Today, the accompanied guide will take you for local sightseeing tour at khagrasori and adjoining tribal villages. During

this trip, you will have the opportunity to visit Alutila cave, Matai Pukhiri lake: It is a lake at 1500 feet above the ground at Nunchhari. According to tripure tale, Water of this lake never dried up or nor it turns dirty. That is why it is called "Matai Pukhiri lake of the God. Tourist can enjoy amazing tribal life and their culture, Rajbari of Mogh Chief at Manikchhari where tourist will find a royal bed make of Ivory. Forest of Guimara and Hills are worth seeing. Lunch after drive to Rangamati and check in the Porjoton motel or best available hotel at Rangamati. A candlelit dinner and over night stay. Day 3: After breakfast, lake cruise and visit to Tribal village, Tribal Market, Handloom Factory, Buddhist Temple, etc. After lunch drive to Dhaka. Upon arrival, we shall transfer you to your hotel/ house.

Rangamati is a district in South-eastern Bangladesh. It is a part of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the town of Rangamati serves as the headquarters of the district.

For unemployed and needy women, Rangamati Hill District is a best employment place. Here handloom industry has employment opportunities for them, particularly for the indigenous womenfolk.

Handloom products of this district are mainly - khadi (an indigenous material), shalwar-kameez, panjabi, frocks, shawls, fatua, shirts, bedcovers, floor mats, dining table mats and cushion covers.

There are nine handloom textile factories in the district. These are: Bain Textile, Nakshi Textile, Banalata Textile, Banani Textile, Tantuj Textile, Craft & Fashion Textile, Bayan Textile, Majumder Textile and Rakhain Textile. These nine factories provide employment to around 2000 underprivileged female workers. Their work is to weave, dye the clothes and process yarn. They can earn Tk 1200 to Tk 3000 per month depends upon their experience and expertise. Amount grows as their experience grows.

Rangamati's handloom products are gradually gaining popularity both at domestic and international market, but the owners of the handloom factories are not satisfied with the sales. As per them sales is not up to mark due to a wane in the number of tourists. Adding to their sadness, are the skyrocketing prices of yarn, dying and other weaving materials. Prices have unexpectedly gone up by 50 percent, the owners said.

Bain Textile was established in 1965 at the Tribal Officer Colony in Tabalchhari area of the town. Manjulika Chakma is the owner of the Bain textile. She had started her business with a capital Tk 500.

Presently she is considered a pioneer in the handloom fabrics trade. Manjulika Chakma also won a Bangladesh Business Awards in 2003 for her outstanding performance in popularizing home-grown Rangamati Handloom fabrics. Fibre2fashion had talked with Mr. Kaushik Chakma son of Manjulika Chakma regarding Rangamati Handloom fabric. As per him "Demand of Rangamati handloom fabric is very high among tourists. At present 50 workers are working with Bain textiles and they can earn approximately 2000 - 3000 Tk as per their work experience."

Mr. Motaleb Hossain, owner of Banani Textile shares his view by saying "At present we are facing problem in getting raw material as shops are too far from Rangamati." He also asserts that sales are reduced as number of tourists are decreasing.

Owners say that the business is not that profitable currently due to skyrocketing prices of weaving materials. As per them to give a boost to the handloom industry, the Government could give subsidies and interest-free short, and long-term loans.

Despite of all this many handloom factories have sprung up in Rangamati town, where as, there was only a handful about two decades ago.

The handloom products are gaining popularity among the tourists from home and abroad in the hill district of Rangamati. Besides, the handloom industry in Rangamati has long been playing a pivotal role in creating jobs for the ultra-poor women and the indigenous people. But the owners of the traditional factories are struggling with the rising prices of raw materials like yarn, dying as well as other weaving materials, owners said. They sought government's cooperation to develop further the industry as well as to get the country's economy going. According to sources at least 2000 ultra-poor women have taken weaving at different handloom factories as profession to earn their bread and butter along with the males in their families. They are engaged in wide range of work, including Two indigenous young women weave weaving, dying of cloths and Processing yarn. clothes at a handloom

I have been working here for the last three years. When I was an apprentice I used to get Tk 1,200.00. But today, I'm receiving Tk 2,000, said Lalita Chakma, a young female worker at Bain Textile. Lalita's senior colleague Mariam Bagum said her salary has been fixed at Tk 2,500 from Tk 700 when she started her career about 12 years ago. Mariam, a divorcee, said she is quite happy with her job and environment. There are nine handloom textiles in Rangamati, including Bain Textile, Nakshi Textile, Banalata Textile, Banani Textile, Tantuz Textile, Craft and Fashion Textile, Bayan Textile, Majunder Textile and Rakhain Textile. Of the handloom items produced in these factories, pinon-khadi (dress for indigenous women), three-pieces, punjabi, frock, orna, fatoa, shirt, bed cover, floor mat, dining mat and cushion cover are very popular to the tourists. Bain Textile is the pioneer in the industry established by Munjulika Chakma in 1965 at tribal officer colony at Tabalchhari. Following her footstep, many others get encouraged and came up with a number of such factories.

Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year 2003

Giving handloom a cutting edge

Monjur Mahmud The time was the 1960s when people in the hill tracts could not imagine starting a business -- and, especially for a woman, it was absolutely unthinkable. During such adverse circumstances, an indigenous woman came forward to show how lifestyle can be improved through business. She is Manjulika Chakma - the first tribal woman entrepreneur in the country. Born in 1943 in Rangamati, Manjulika took bold initiatives to develop traditional looms in her area and establish the first business concern of tribal handloom products. Traditionally, agriculture had been the main occupation in the hill tracts region dominated by tribal people. The art of weaving was taught to women as part of regular household chores. In her very childhood, Manjulika learnt weaving from her mother Panchalata Khisha.

They had such looms in their family, locally called 'komor tant'. They used to produce traditional loom products in 1950s. Manjulika says during 1950s and early 60s many indigenous women in hill districts used to produce clothes for their own uses only. They never thought about starting any commercial venture. So it was a real challenge for her to take such initiative. Manjulika joined Shah Boys High School as a teacher in 1961. Around that time, she thought of doing something for her fellow weavers. She purchased two traditional looms in 1965 and started applying new weaving techniques while continuing her teaching profession. Thus, her journey as an entrepreneur began with a capital of only Tk 500. It was a very difficult task, but she overcame all hurdles through sheer hard work and dedication. Sometimes she had to stop production because of inadequate capital and raw materials. Marketing was another problem she faced at the initial stages as there were very few buyers in Rangamati at that time. People outside the hill tracts hardly knew about the products. But she didn't lose heart. Opening a very small showroom at her residence in 1965, she started selling her products. Over time, she succeeded in attracting buyers and received huge appreciation while handloom products became a profitable business. This encouraged her to concentrate on her business full time. Eventually, Manjulika's Bain Textile became a popular name in handloom. Presently, Bain Textile has three showrooms in Rangamati and one in Cox's Bazaar. Besides, her products including various clothing and household items - are sold in selected outlets in Dhaka such as Aarong, Prabartana, Karika, Aranya and Kumudini. Products have been developed and diversified at Bain Textile considering the tastes and demands of buyers at home and abroad. The company has a long range of products such as tribal dress (pinon, khadi), shawls, bed covers, shalwar kameezes, shirts, panjabis, T-shirts, frocks, sleeping gowns, skirt-tops, side bags, purses, sofa covers, napkins and towels. Bain Textile earned Tk 4 lakh in 2000 and Tk 6 lakh in 2001 from exports. Around 80 weavers, experts and helpers are engaged in her handloom business, apart from the more than 100 tribal women in four villages who produce handloom products for sale. With separate weaving, dyeing, design and tailoring units and exclusive showrooms, Bain Textile emerged as a complete business house. Manjulika still plays a key role in supervising the whole production process right from procuring raw materials like yarn and chemicals for dyeing, preparing them for use and controlling the quality. She is a master in preparing vegetable dyes. It's a secret of her success in making her products popular. In the early days of her business Manjulika had fund constraints but banks could not do much for her as it was very difficult for them to provide loan to a person without collateral. Manjulika did not have any assets to keep as mortgage against bank loans. Two local banks came up with proposals to give her loans but she could not make a deal with them.

Manjulika says a lot of changes have taken place in the techniques of producing handloom products but they have not lost their basic characteristics. Traditional tribal looms have been transformed into modern ones but the products are still attractive because of their unique colour and designs that demonstrate the rich heritage of tribal community. At a time when local and global markets are flooded with fabrics manufactured in modern and high-tech plants, tribal handloom with ethnic designs is still popular with a different taste and appeal. Manjulika played a leading role in popularising these indigenous designs amongst both local and foreign buyers. Manjulika's bold initiative created new entrepreneurs also. Her tireless efforts encouraged others to start business of handloom products in the hill districts. Over the years, about 20 to 25 such handloom enterprises have been set up and showrooms opened where several thousand indigenous women are working. Thus, she has contributed towards employment generation for women in the previously almost unknown field of tribal traditional looms. Bain Textile helped the indigenous people take part in economic activities and improve their lifestyle. Manjulika's work has also created a market for ethnic handloom products and brought them into the world of fashion. Her future plans include establishment of another unit equipped with power looms to increase production volume. Manjulika's struggles did not come to an end although she is now a successful woman entrepreneur. She has been able to turn her very small initiative into a reputed business concern. But she could not yet open an outlet of her own in Dhaka due to lack of capital. Manjulika won Shilu Abed Award in 2001 and Best Successful Woman Entrepreneur Award in 2002 in recognition of her outstanding contribution in the field of business and craftsmanship. She participated in the International Industrial Fair in Kolkata in 2003 and 2004 and Chiang Mai Trade Fair in Thailand this year. She is going to participate in the Australian trade fair beginning April 6. By taking part in these shows, Manjulika wants to popularise Bain Textile products abroad and increase export earning. She always feels that participating in a fair abroad is a good way of learning and also

improving the quality of products.

Best Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year 2003

Spinning hopes into the future

Shahnila Azher One multinational company claims to make enough thread, every 4 hours, to reach the moon and back - impressive statistics indeed and that company is none other than Coats Plc, one of the largest textile groups in the world and a global leader in thread business. They are present in Bangladesh as Coats Bangladesh, originally established in 1989 as "Tootal Thread Bangladesh Ltd.". With the merger of Tootal and Coats Viyella Plc worldwide in 1991, the operation in Bangladesh became part of the Coats Viyella Plc - a network that now encompasses more than 150 countries. Coats Bangladesh is a joint venture company with 80 percent held by Coats Plc, UK and the remaining 20 percent equity belonging to A K Khan & Co Ltd of Bangladesh. Globally, Coats is a preferred thread supplier to major High Street brands. In Bangladesh, Coats captures approximately 50 percent of the export-oriented industrial thread segment and is currently a clear market leader and preferred supplier to key international buyers operating here. The business model followed by Coats is briefly as follows: yarn - the basic raw material - is sourced from specialised mills in China, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. Yarn is processed into thread at the local factories using advanced technologies and equipment. Ensuring quality consistency across markets is of supreme importance; hence even the lubricants used are patented inhouse versions. The finished thread is then supplied to the large 100 percent exportoriented garment factories. Value added by Coats during the entire process - from start to finish - is around 30 percent. The product portfolio of the company is comprised of staple spun polyester, trilobal polyester (for embroidery applications), polyester core spun thread and other speciality threads as per customer requirement. The local company shares the worldwide "Global Offer" capability of the Coats Group - meaning that, in Bangladesh, it can supply the same range of Coats global brands at demanding international specifications as anywhere else in the world. Equipped with a base of 30,000 colour shades, the company also provides dye-to-match services whereby state-of-the-art technologies match the specific colour required by a customer to colours available at a global bank and reproduce customised thread locally at the shortest lead time possible. In fact, approximately 35 percent of daily output is comprised of dye-to-match products. This electronic colour communication and matching system is a proprietary item developed by Coats in collaboration with the University of Derbyshire in the UK, Sun Microsystems and a few other specialised companies. Furthermore, the company offers value-enhancing advisory services at its Embroidery Solution Centre to ensure that customers are getting superior design quality with minimum stitching and cost implications - ultimately resulting in higher productivity at the shop floor. This specific combination of quality product and integral services has yielded remarkable results - Coats Bangladesh now enjoys double-digit sales growth which reached more than Tk. 1.2 billion in 2003.

On the production side, Coats Bangladesh established its first manufacturing plant in Chittagong in 1990 with a limited dyeing and finishing volume of roughly half a ton a day. Since then, driven by the simultaneous growth in the garment sector, capacity has increased manifolds to a figure of 14 tons of sewing thread per day. As part of the company's continued commitment to Bangladesh operations, a second state-of-the art manufacturing plant was set up at Gazipur in 2002. At Coats Bangladesh, investment in capacity takes place annually at a rate of around 12 percent a year and expenditure of around US$ 1.5million this year will upgrade capacity even further. The company's emphasis on quality was recognised by ISO 9002 certification and its focus on environmental issues is evident in the receipt of Oeko Tex certification. The company is operated by 866 employees across all grades. Over time, the talent of its management team has proved to be a noteworthy asset. Shafiq Uz Zaman, the current managing director, is the first Bangladeshi CEO in Coats Bangladesh during its entire operating period here. The three expatriates, who had occupied senior board positions up until 2001, have all been replaced by local professionals. Furthermore, four Coats Bangladesh managers are now serving in different Coats markets in the UK, Pakistan, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Realising the necessity of developing management potential, the company invests heavily in training and development - it extensively uses the facilities of Cranfield School of Management (UK), Asian Institute of Management (Philippines), Indian Institute of Management and Bangladesh Institute of Management. Coats Bangladesh began manufacturing industrial thread in Bangladesh when the market was 100 percent dependent on imports - over the last 12 years, it expanded capacity every year and is now one of the largest dye-houses in the Asia Pacific region. Retrospectively, Zaman, who had been part of the original team bringing this company to Bangladesh, remembers the initial years as difficult. "The industrial thread market supporting the export-oriented garments factories was heavily dominated by Chinese and Korean players at that time. Customers had to be oriented to a new philosophy that in order to have a good quality garment, you also need to sew it with a good quality thread - at the end of the day, it makes a difference for the person buying the garment at retail level". Now, Zaman views the future with a significant amount of confidence despite the looming post-MFA (multi-fibre arrangement) challenges. "For some time in 20002001, I was based in Vietnam and since our operations had a joint venture with the Vietnamese government, we were quite involved in their preparations for the freetrade scenario. I was expecting the same level of concern as I noticed there when I came back to Bangladesh, but found it to be missing." Asked to elaborate on our vulnerabilities, he mentioned, "We are too dependent on external markets for lead times in raw material sourcing. One of my customers who was supposed to invest about $ 12 million in Bangladesh changed his mind and shifted to Mexico. He says he is going to save on the cost of time." A Mexican factory has definite concrete advantages since it can source raw materials locally, manufacture and ship to the US in shorter lead times than most others.

"We need regional collaboration to ensure that neighboring countries will supply the basic material, we will use our strong base/infrastructure of garment manufacturing while improving quality and productivity, and then ship out to end users. This is already happening but is needed on an organised basis at government level - without specialisation, we won't survive the competition. What will be needed to survive after 2004 are essentially three things - how cheaply we can produce, how productive we are, and how quickly we can produce and ship". Zaman is optimistic that the impending threat of free trade will be a blessing in disguise - forcing Bangladeshi garment manufacturers to be more productive and cost-efficient. Coats' initial lead and subsequent success in this sector had lent confidence to others: local entrepreneurs came forward to invest in the industry so that, today, domestic production meets 75 percent of the RMG export sector's total thread requirement. Wiser by the experience it has already acquired from the market, Coats Bangladesh plans to continue investing in technology, capacity and human capital development in the coming years.

HANDLOOM TECHNOLOGY The handloom is simply a weaving device made of wood and iron mainly operated by hand ,relying solely on human metabolic energy. It requires a space barely 8 sq. metres. Handloom weaving is a cottage based industry spread through out the country. The sounds of the handloom is the music of the rural home inviting fortune to them. In the process of weaving the handloom weaver create a harmony of motion and rhythm. The vast majority of Bangladeshi handlooms are engaged in weaving cotton and blended fabrics although handloom cloth of silk earned a good reputation. Famous areas for silk weaving are Rajshahi, Tangail and Nobabgonj . Rajshahi produces mainly silk sarees, a special type of cloth weared by the women folk . Tangail produces also silk saree namely Tangail Muslin and Narayangonj produces the famous Jamdani saree, silk sarees Tangail Muslins and famous jamdani. Zari work called brocade is also famous in Mirpur, Dhaka .In Bangladesh there are different schools of weaving on jacquard, dobby, frame and pit looms .Product assortments made of other are saree , lungie, gamsa, grameen check fabrics, printed bed covers, pillow covers, table mats, kitchen and hand towels, apron, cur

Hand woven textile goods has a glorious heritage in the history of weaving. The excellence of Bangladeshi hand woven fabrics was known to the West before the dawn of the British era. The lure of fine Muslin and exquisite weaves found their way to a number of European market . At present many countries across the globe import handloom goods from Bangladesh. The products range from traditional fabrics of contemporary furnishing and household textiles are meant Number Total Handloom units Total number of handlooms Total number of operational looms Total number of non operational looms Type wise number of looms Pit loom Frame loom Waist loom Semi automatic/ Chittaranjan loom Others Number of Weavers Total number of weavers Total number of male weavers Total number of female weavers Handloom Factory ( as of May 2008) Number of Handloom factory registered with the BHB ( Factory is a production unit having more than 20 looms) 246 888115 472367 415748 183512 505556 313245 192311 169700 29212 141684 150407 2170

Weavers societies registered with the Bangladesh Handloom Board ( as of May 2008) Number of Primary Weavers Societies Number of Secondary Weavers Societies Apex Weavers Society 1300 58 01

A. Activities of running Enterprises: Name of Location Existing Service Unit/Centre

Average monthly income

Profit (2005-06)

Cloth Processing Madhabdi, Centre(CPC) Narhingdi

1.Washing 2.Dyeing 3.Printing 4.Calendering 5.Seinging 6.Hydroextracting 7.Stentering Services & Kumarkhali 1.Twisting Facilities Centre Kushtia 2.Sizing (SFC) 3.Yarn Dyeing 4.Kier Boiling 5.Weaving 6.Calendering 7.Printing Textile Shahjadpur 1.Twisting Facilities Sirajgonj 2.Dyeing Centre(TFC) 3.Weaving 4.Calendering B. Closed Enterprises brought into operation: Name of units Location Products Dyeing & Printing Unit (DPU) Textile Facilities Centre (TFC) C.Training Activities: Name of Training Centres Handloom Training Institute, Narshingdi Chandanaish Shovarampur Comilla Present Training Courses 1.Weaving and Marketing 2.Weaving on Semiautomatic loom. 3.Dyeing. 4.Weaving by Dobby and Jacquard 5.Screen Printing 6.Tie and Dyeing 7.Block & Batik Printing 8.Costing & Marketing 1.Weaving onSemiautomatic loom 2.Dyeing

2005-2006 Tk. 7,08,816/- Tk. 1.63 lac

Tk. 2,41,069/- 1.72 lac


Tk. 1.28 lac

Remarks Closed since 1996. Running from July'06 Closed since 1996. Running from July'06 Total persons trained 4921 (as on July'06)

Lungi and Sari Lungi

Duration Trainees of Course per batch 2 months 20 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20

Handloom Training Sub-Centre, Berapabna

2933 (as on July'06) 7854

Handloom Industry flourishes in Northern Bangladesh

The distressed women and unemployed young girls have been successfully changing their fates by sewing readymade handloom garments everywhere in the northern region in recent years. By sewing handloom garments and marketing those, over 20,000 distressed women, divorcees and young girls of different rural and urban areas in all 16 northern districts have been becoming self-reliant and making financial contributions to their families. The women affairs department, social service department, youth development department, other government organisations, reputed NGOs like RDRS, ASA, BRAC and dozens of local NGOs are playing vital role in encouraging the women by providing trainings, sewing machines, credits and input supports. Production of readymade garments made of handloom fabrics has been growing fast as more and more women and teenaged girls are becoming interested in adopting sewing as a profession. The female sewers are producing mainly garments such as blouse, petticoat, semiz, kamiz, salwar, scurf, maxi, baby wears, shirts, pants, fotua, caps and other readymade wears for men, women, babies, girls and people of all ages. Housewife Ful Banu, 28, of village Boalmari under Roumari upazila in Kurigram said, I sew baby clothes and my husband sells them. Now we living better than we what we lived three to four years ago. Housewife Romesa Begum of village Echakuri, young girl Jasmine Akhter of village Khatiamari and housewife Chhoki Begum of village Notanpara in the upazila also narrated similar stories of their fightback. Business community leaders in the regions said there were potentials of setting up of composite textile and spinning mills at many areas of the region for industrialisation and creating job opportunities.

Source: BSS(Rangpur), Newage KHAGRACHHARI- THE HILLTOP TOWN 266 km by road from Dhaka and 112 km from Chittagong, an all-weather metalled road through lush green forested hills brings the tourist to Khagrachhari town, whose fascinating ambience makes it an ideal spot for those seeking nature in restful mood. The district of Khagrachhari represents the natural, wild, beauty of Bangladesh. It is situated on the left bank of the Chengi River. Away from the mechanized monotony of modern life, a holiday here can be memorably restful. The noteworthy places of interest at Khagrachhari are: Alutilla , surrounded by deep forest, has a dark cave with an inner dimension approximately 100 meters long with a hill stream flowing right through. One can see the whole Khagrachhari town at a glance from the top of Alutilla . Another attraction is the Rajbari or palace of the Mogh Chief at Manikchhari where tourists can see a Royal bed

made of ivory. Besides, the forest of Cuimara and the hills there are worth seeing. Other places worth visiting include the abandoned Dighi of the Former King of Tripura, Manikkya Dev at Dighinala, the War of Liberation Memorial Monument Sharthok a janmo , a Buddhist temple, river and canal, and an old tea garden at Ramgarh. In Khagrachhari, the Biju festival is celebrated by tribal people every year in April and includes which consists of sports, dances, songs and cultural functions. There is a remarkable lake known as the Matai Pukhiri , 500 meters above ground level at Nunchhari. According to a legend of the Tripura tribe, the water of this lake never dries up nor becomes dirty, which is why it is called Matai Pukhiri or the Lake of God. BANDARBAN- THE ROOF OF BANGLADESH 2 km. from Chittagong by a metalled road, Bandarban is the district headquarters of the Bandarban hill district. It is home town of the Bohmang Chief who is the head of the Mogh tribe. The Moghs are of Myanmar origin and Buddhists by religion. The Moghs are a simple and hospitable people. Bandarban is also the home of the Murangs who are famous for their music and dance. Several other tribes of great ethnogical interest live in the remote areas of the district. The highest peak of Bangladesh - Tahjin dong (4632 ft.)- is located in the Bandarban district. SYLHET-BLESSED WITH A BEAUTIFUL AND BOUNTIFUL NATURE Blessed with a beautiful and bountiful nature, Sylhet is one of the popular tourist destinations of the country.For most part plain land , Sylhet is ringed by low hills on northern and southern boundaries. These are the foot hills of the Khasia and Jaintia range. Sylhet is dotted with lakes, thick forests and fruit gardens,. abounds in wildlife. The reserved forests have different species of birds and animals and ideal for bird watching and trekking. The Sylhet valley is formed by a beautiful, winding pair of rivers named Surma and Kushiara both of which are fed by innumerable hill streams from the north and south. The valley has a good number of haors which are big natural depressions. During winter these haors are vast streches of green land, but in the rainy season they turn into turbulent seas. The haors provide sanctuary to millions of migratory birds who fly from the north across the Himalayas every winter.The patron saint of Sylhet is Hazrat Shah Jalal (RA). Sylhet town draws thousands of devotees and visitors every year. The tea gardens stretch for miles like a green carpet spread over the slopes of the hills. There are excellent rest-house facilities in many of these tea gardens.