High season for blacksmiths
Desk Report: For blacksmiths, Eid-ul-Azha is an occasion full of activities and opportunity. This is the time they earn the largest share of the annual income, reports Daily Star. The situation is no different in Sylhet. During visits to the smithies, it was found that all of them were busy forging machetes, cleavers, and knives centring the Eid when several lakh animals would be sacrificed across the country. The shops are selling mostly new tools, but at the same time preparing the old ones by repairing and sharpening those. In Sylhet city, Topkhana, Kazirbazar, Amberkhana, Bandarbazar and Dakshin Surma have a concentration of smithies. Ananga Karmakar, owner of Sushanta Iron Store at Topkhana, said, “We have stopped taking new orders as we are already working almost 24 hours a day.” Radha Raman Karmakar, a blacksmith of Amberkhana, said, “The daily profit is now around Tk 2,000-3,000, and we have to work hard to deliver the items on time.” However, customers said the prices are higher compared to normal time. Belal Ahmed, who came to a smithy in Amberkhana, said, “I came here to buy some knives, but the prices have been doubled.” He said, “There is no rule on fixing prices of these cutting utensils, and there is no way to know whether they are asking the right price. We have to give what they ask for.” According to the smiths, a butcher knife costs around Tk 250-500, a machete Tk 350-1,000, a cleaver Tk 350-1,500, and a regular knife Tk 50-300. The blacksmiths denied they raise the price intentionally. While sales go up due to a high demand on the occasion, the prices of iron and coal become double, which is why the utensils cost more ahead of this Eid, they said. In addition, the cost of labour is also high. The blacksmiths said they do not have enough capital to store iron prior to this season; so, they have to buy the raw material at a higher price at this time.