Kendrapara, Sept 27 (LocalWire): Large numbers of bamboo craft-makers of Kendrapara district have been badly economically affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 500 bamboo craft-makers from Pattamundai, Rajnagar, Mahakalapada, Garadapur, Rajkanika and Marsaghai blocks earn their livelihoods by making baskets, flower pots, pen stands, etc.
“Puja pandals used to be decorated with bamboo. The government also used to organize craft melas to sell our crafts .
However, this year, no such melas will be held due to COVID-19. This will severely affect our earnings,” said Abhiram Behera, a bamboo craft-maker from Marsaghai.
“Tourists visiting Bhitarkanika National Park purchase bamboo craft items while passing through our village.
However, due to the lockdown and COVID-19, all tourist activities have ceased which has caused a steep drop in our earnings,” said Chandrasekhar Das of Dangamala village near Bhitarkanika National Park.
When contacted, the District Project Manager (DPM) of Odisha Livelihood Mission, Satyabhama Pradhan said, “Under the COVID Assistance Package of the government, we have already provided a loan of Rs. 50,000 at just five percent interest annually to 135 craft persons.
We will soon provide loans to other craft persons.”