National award-winning craftsman Sushanta Kumar Pal, a torch-bearer of shokher hari tradition, anticipates that the earthen pottery item may become extinct for its fall of demand.
Making a delicate shokher hari, a distinctive pottery with folk motifs painted on it, is more difficult and time consuming than producing other pottery items, said Sushanta.
‘But, the artisans do not get due price for their labourious task for which they are losing interest in making shokher hari,’ said the Rajshahi-based artisan who is displaying his artistic pottery items at the ongoing month-long crafts fair on Bangladesh Folk Arts and Crafts Foundation premises at Sonargaon in Narayanganj.
‘Not only shokher hari, pottery itself is becoming archaic for ever increasing popularity of the cheap plastic items. Now-a-days sales of pottery items mostly depend on crafts fairs and festivals and when there are no fairs artisans have to struggle to sell pottery. At other times, it is very difficult to sell our products’, he said.
‘But,’ Sushanta said, ‘The pottery items vary between Tk 20 to Tk 600 and the cost of living has been soaring in the recent years so potters are finding it very difficult to support themselves and their families by selling their crafts.’
He urges the government to support the potters by establishing a distribution network for selling crafts.
‘We need a distribution network for crafts so that potters can sell their products throughout the year. I urge the government to formulate policy regarding promotion and distribution of crafts,’ said Pal.
Sushanta Kumar Pal learnt to make shokher hari from his grandfather Banneswar Pal when he was just eight years old. He has been making shoker hari for the last fifty years.
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