Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic which has led to the scarcity of masks and other protective gears and has also descended dark shadow over the livelihood of the people across the globe, a young Bodo couple in Assam’s Udalguri district have solaced themselves by seizing the opportunity to make cloth masks out of Assamese “Gamosas”, Bodo “Aronai”, Rabha “Kangbang” the traditional towel of the indigenous communities and are selling them door-to-door.
Brojen Daimari and his wife Rumi Daimari in their mid-thirties were facing hardships to sustain themselves due to financial constraints and decided to make the distinctive and flamboyant masks out of the traditional towels of various indigenous communities which are in vogue among the people of Assam amid the pandemic.
While Rumi tailors the masks in perfect shape and size, Brojen riding his TVS make 100 cc commuter bike is selling the masks and have aptly placed them in a horizontal stick above the headlight of his bike to catch the attention of the passerby.
“The government has made wearing masks and social distancing compulsory to prevent coronavirus infection. But I and my wife observed that masks are not easily available in rural areas and the one available in medical stores are sold at much high rate than usual, so we decided to reap the benefit of this growing demand for the mask and prepare the cloth masks ” said Brojen Daimari.
Daimari further said, “We were facing trouble as our stationery shop in the village was down the shutter for days and then decided to start this business .”
Daimari said that he travels to various parts of Udalguri district including Khoirabari, Bhergaon, Dimakuchi, Paneri, Tangla and manages to sell 60-80 pieces every day at the rate of Rs. 50 each.
On the question that if he faced trouble from law enforcement agencies he said, “I only sell them from 8 am to 1 pm as an administrative official suggested me to adhere to the timing. Sometimes I am stopped by police but after I say that I consulted the local circle office, they let me go”.
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