With no govt support, Bankura Tant weavers forced to switch livelihood

At a distance of 47 kilometers from Bankura town of West Bengal, 66-year-old Bhanupada Nandi is the only tant weaver left to continue this tradition in Bonkata village where he resides with his family. Nandi, who has three tants (handlooms), left weaving saree because of advancing age. However, he weaves 'gamcha' (local handloom towel) on a daily basis to support the family and continue with the art form. He earns Rs 1600 for 100 pieces of Gamcha that he submits to the dealer every two months. It takes a minimum of two hours to weave two pieces of Gamcha. None of his sons wants to learn this tradition due to extremely low income. A little ahead of Bonkata, another village named Nobanda had all the families in weaving leave this trade five years ago. Today, not a single-family is found associated with 'tant' and the wooden machines in every household are lying dismantled while being covered in dust and cobwebs. Weavers of past years said that they were forced to leave Tant only because of tremendously low income Bowing down to poverty, villagers have shifted to other trades like daily labour, farming, etc.