‘People are dying, it is wrong’: Rising demand for ‘Kafans’ powers Bihar village’s loom industry

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Due to very high number of deaths amidst a second wave of covid-19 in Bihar’s Patwatoli village, power loom industry, is now faced with a rather morbid task of producing shrouds or ‘kafan’, News 18 reported.

This village of weavers has more than 10,000 power looms. The business had been adversely affected during the pandemic, but the demand has shot up considerably for shrouds to wrap bodies of COVID-19 victims. The weavers are now working day and night to meet the massive demand.

“Hum log kafan banate hai sir, Bihar, MP, Bengal sab jagah jata hai kafan…abhi bimari ke chalte demand bahut badh gaya hai. (We make shrouds, which are sent across Bihar, MP, Bengal…the demand has shot up amid the pandemic),”  Dwarika Prasad, a manager of one of the looms was quoted as saying by News18.

Such is the demand that most power looms are working 24/7, in all 3 shifts with no break for their workers and still they are not able to meet the demand.

Though it’s a boom for the business of these power loom owners but it hardly brings smile on their faces. Chandan, a loom worker, says, “Paisa toh mil raha hai sir, par log mar rahe hai… Bahut galat hai sir. (We are making money, but people are dying….this is really wrong).”

Earlier, on an average, they would get an order of 7 to 10 kafans and pitambaris per day, which has now shot up to over 60,000 to 70,000. A steep rise in the demand is, however, helping sustain the economy of this village.

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