Report by Akshya Rout; Jajpur: Thanks to the arrival of Rakha Bandhan , the festival of bond among brothers and sisters , artisans of Balichandrapur, Chatia, Binjharpur, Bari and other areas of Jajpur district who make Rakhis are spending sleepless nights to make hundreds of Rakhis of different sizes.
Many artisans are sitting on the heap of the different coloured papers, cotton, plastic stones to make Rakhis to meet the huge demands from the girls who will bind Rakhis on the hands of their brothers on 2nd , August.
Witnessing the flowing activities of the artisans cutting papers , the women pasting cotton , the children helping their parents in the works , one forgets for a few magic moments that the traditional Rakhi making art is a dying breed.
Bespectacled, 76-year-old ebony-skinned Santosh Rana of Chatia is the leader here. Despite his age, he has the ability to turn out more than 100 Rakhis a day to meet the huge demand for ‘Rakha Bandhan ’ festival.
“Our scope for work is restricted now. We make Rakhis during Rakha Bandhan ,kites in Makar Sankrani festival, paper- boats in Kartika Purnima and sundry items like paper dolls throughout the year. But these sell at dismally low prices, and sales are generally slack, barring Rakha Bandhan and Makar Sankranti ”, said Pramod Sahoo ( 42) an artisan of Bari.
With Rakha Bandhan round the corner, the 50 -odd artisans are busy, giving the final touches to the colourful Rakhis to meet huge demands from the people.
“The artisans have been working at these two villages since last two weeks to earn more during the Rakha Bandhan . Many artisans spend more money to get electricity by using generators to work in the night to meet huge demands”, said Ashok Rana(65) an artisan of Chatia.
The demand for Rakhis remains steady in Rakhya Bandhan time despite the emergence of plastic Rakhis ”, said Sanatana Rana (45) an artisan of Baliochandrapur.
“Making Rakhis is a seasonal business for which large number of youths of our families nowadays are not preferring to continue their forefathers’ works as a result we are not getting young artisans to teach them to make Rakhis ”, lamented Sangram Rana (68) another artisan of Bari.
“ Many religious people also bind Rakhis on the horns of cattle and for them we prepare special Rakhis”, said Ratnakar Rana (63) of Bari. At best a artisan family earns only two thousands to four thousands making Rakhis . Two decades back, artisans used to get coloured papers, cotton, wool at a lower price for making Rakhis . But, nowadays, we are being compelled to purchase rakhi making items at higher price ”, said Ranjan Rana one of the artisans of Chatia