Rawhides’ low price has drastically reduced earnings of charities adversely affected their welfare activities for the orphans and the other needy groups.
Experts blamed syndicates of tanners and traders for lowering the prices which increased the possibility of smuggling rawhides across the border to India.
The syndicates compelled people to sell rawhides of their sacrificial animals at throw away prices with the government turning a blind eye, they said.
Officials of charities told New Age that the traders and the tanners lowered the rawhide price each year since 2013.
Since 2013, they said, cowhide price fell by 47.36 per cent and the goatskin price fell by 63.63 per cent though the prices of the sacrificial animal and leather products doubled during the period.
They said that people donated more rawhides to the charities after this year’s Eid-ul-Azha, their r earnings fell to the lowest in five years.
They said that the lion share of the charities’ annual earnings come from rawhides donated by people after the festival of sacrifice.
The small charities have been hit harder by low rawhide price while the big ones are trying to cope with the adverse situation with efforts to collect funding from other sources.
Anjuman Mufidul Islam, the nation’s largest charity handed over 2,600 cowhides, 1,180 goat skins and 10 buffalo hides to whole sellers said Anjuman’s executive director Elias Ahmed.
He said that the whole sellers lifted the rawhides and were bargaining to pay prices much less than the last year’s.
He said that in 2017 Anjuman sold 2,000 cowhides for Tk 28 lakh.
Anjuman Mufidul Islam runs health care services to the needy at nominal charges.
Anjuman runs orphanages and buries unclaimed bodies and extends supports to the needy people.
Anjuman takes full responsibilities of orphaned children.
Elias said the low rawhide prices ‘affected our charity activities.’
He said that the funding crisis compelled Anjuman Mufidul Islam to cut down its activities.
He said thru hide donation increased over the years but earnings from the sector decreased since 2013. Seasonal traders, tanners and footwear businessmen were the ultimate gainer for soft corner of the government.
Sir Salimullah Muslim Orphanage superintendent Nazmus Sadat said that they got no buyers to lift their 80 rawhides until 9PM on the Eid day.
Later, he said, the orphanage invited a buyer over mobile phone and sold the hides at a throwaway price of Tk 700 while it had to spend the collection cost of Tk 200 on each hide.
He said that the situation discouraged the Sir Salimullah Muslim Orphanage to collect hides this year though it’s their main revenue source.
The orphanage, he said, was trying to cope with the situation by cutting expenses and looking for alternative income sources.
Darus Salam Pukurpar Madrasa O Etimkhana general secretary Shaheen Hossain said that they ran their institute by selling rawhides donated by people and their other donations.
This year, he said, funding crunch would make it difficult for the charity to provide free education and boarding to 900 students.
Ferdous Alam, a Tangail based lawyer said that in 2013, he sold the hide of his sacrificial ox for Tk 3,000 and donated the money among 250 poor people.
This year, he said, he sold the hide of his sacrificial bull of the same size only for Tk 600 and was clueless how he would distribute the money among the needy people known to him.
Many people said that were forced to bury goat skins finding no buyers.
This year the government announced cowhide price Tk 45 to 50 per square feet in the capital and Tk 35 to 40 outside the capital, down from Tk 75 to 80 in 2013 when the government began to fix the raw hide price.
Rawhide sells for Tk 105 to Tk 110 per square foot in India, said hide merchant Delower Hossain, president of Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association.
Bangladesh Tanners Association chairman Shaheen Ahmed denied that syndicates had manipulated the rawhide market this year.
He blamed low prices in the global market as well as relocation of tannery factories to Savar for this year’s crisis.
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