Dhubri, July 27: Terracotta and pottery craft of Asharikandi village in Dhubri District , Assam , India is famous for its traditiol practice . More than 200 families now a days practice terracotta and pottery craft in the village. The craft village is now one of the largest clusters in India where Terracotta and pottery is practiced together. Three decades ago, the village was unpopular and a few families practiced terracotta and pottery craft as a part time trade amid several challenges. At that period, in the year 1982, one of the female artisans of the village Smt. Sarala Bala Devi, begged president award in terracotta craft. At that time, the practice was confined among traditiol kumbakhars only.
NECARDO ( North East Craft and Rural Development Organization) ,an NGO comprised of leading artisans and some experts along with District Administration has taken a gigantic task to preserve and promote the craft and develop the craft persons as well as the village as a whole.
Now-a-days Terracotta craft of Asharikandi village has taken the shape of an organized cottage industry. Depending on Terracotta industry several shops and peripheral business have grown up in the village. Contribution of Terracotta craft in the economy of the village Asharikandi has become an attraction to the rural researchers.
NECARDO observes that there is no recent primary data on the present Economic activity that has grown up in the village revolving around Terracotta and Pottery craft. So the organization decided to conduct an Economic Survey on Terracotta , Tourism and Trade ( TTT ) voluntarily in all the four wards in Madaikhali village, under Asharikandi G. P. with its limited resources from 12th July 2015. The survey completed on 24.07.15. On the said survey NECARDO requested the Deputy Commissioner, Dhubri to depute officials from DI&CC, Gauripur and Asharikandi G. P. respectively as observer. The G.P Ward members of Madaikhali actively cooperated in the survey process.
The survey was conducted among 345 households and shops in the craft village. The survey asked the persons to disclose their trade and yearly approximate sale and the figures were authenticated by the sigture of the persons. The survey was conducted by Bhakta Ram Sarkar, Chandan Paul, Balaram Barman, and Uttam kumar Paul under the supervision of Dhirendra th Paul, master crafts man and worthy son of President award winner Sarala Bala Devi along with Mahadev Paul, State award winner, Ramdulal Paul, Balaram Paul and Binoy Bhattacharjee, Director, NECARDO.
The outcome of the survey was astonishing. More than 120 million yearly businesses is recorded among the 345 households in the craft village amid several challenges. In the year 2007, a wooden bridge, the lone road connectivity to the craft village was washed out by flood water. Terracotta , Tourism and Trade ( TTT) suffered seriously till 2014. In 2015, a pucca bridge was constructed to connect the craft village by the State PWD. If the bridge would have been completed earlier the volume of the business would have been more than 120 million, NECARDO thanked state PWD minister, Ajanta Neog, for her support to the craft village.
The survey reveals the fact that now a days fishermen of S.C Community are actively involved in Terracotta trade leaving their traditiol fishing trade due to lack of fishing opportunity. Earlier the fishing net that used to carry iron ball as weight, has been replaced here in the craft village by terracotta weight which is locally called as jaler Kathi . The new innovation has got a tremendous response due to its cost effectiveness in local areas as well as in neighboring country Bangladesh, where fishing is a recognized trade. Due to the heavy demands of jaler Kathi in all the rural areas, the craft has spread its root to other places of the district .
The survey further reveals the fact that Terracotta craft persons, Tourists, and Traders need some important amenities in the village like draige system, water supply facility, community toilet , market complex, waiting shed , parking place, Kilns ( bhatti) for baking the craft items, pension schemes for the artisans and traders ,and Institutions like Rural Bank with ATM facility , Police Station for safety to the tourists and the traders and field loud speaker ( FLS) etc.
Binoy Bhattacharjee , Director, NECARDO said that the genuine demands of the craft village would be transmitted to the GOA and GOI through the District Administration soon. NECARDO works in close liaison with District Administration for a long period of time. The organization has begged the Chief Minister’s best community action award 2007 in recognition to its community works. This was stated in a press release.