Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Shahidul’s fascinating craft

Shahidul Islam Mollah’s handicrafts made of tender leaves add aesthetic appeal to even the most sophisticated living room. Mollah recently attracted a huge crowd to Durgabari Road in the town where he was adroitly making such handicrafts using palm leaves.
Shahidul, 32, began to learn this craft as a boy and has been in this trade for 15 years. He first took lessons in this craft from one of his cousins named Quddus Sheikh.
Eventually he made plans to make a career of his craft. The prices are fixed according to design and size. A sunflower, made by him, sells from Taka 75-100 according to its quality and size.
“I collect tender palm leaves from Gazipur, Sripur, Jessore and Narail district whenever I visit these places,” said the artiste.
“I travel to different places of the country including Dhaka on occasions like Pahela Boishakh, book fair and Independence Day celebrations and do brisk business.
“I also travelled to India in 2001 with my products, and they fetched quite a few consumers,” said Shahidul.
“Such handicrafts can be preserved for over a year without any effort. But coloured products can last for years,” said Shahidul.
Shahidul is now teaching his craft, free of charge, to several street children in Dhaka. “One such boy, Shopon Miah, learned the art under my guidance for a year and he now works at Mohanagar Natya Mancha in Dhaka,” said a proud Shahidul.
He said that whenever he visits his father-in-law’s house in Mymensingh town, he makes handicrafts and sells them in the town to support his family.
Rezaul Karim Alam, a trader in the town, who had gathered at the sight of Shahidul meticulously at work, said that such artistes should be encouraged and supported by the concerned authority.

 

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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