The ruckus near Jama Masjid on June 10 has affected the furniture business of Saharanpur. Actually, the laborers and artisans associated with the timber trade come from the area where violence took place in Saharanpur on Friday. After the incident, the coming of these people to work has reduced. This has had a direct impact on the business here. According to the traders of the furniture market, the business has gone down by 80% after the violence.
We went to the furniture market of Saharanpur. Talked to the shopkeepers and people of the furniture association here. What happened was astonishing. Let’s go through everything one by one…
Not a single foreign order received after June 10
There is silence in National Handicraft, one of the oldest shops in the furniture market in Saharanpur. The owner of the shop, Rais Ahmed, is upset over the non-receipt of orders. He says, “The furniture business, which is already hit by Kovid, has been affected by the uproar on June 10. After the violence, the number of traders coming from outside has come down by 90%. Labor is getting less. We haven’t received any foreign orders for a week after the violence. Earlier 4 to 5 big orders were received every day.”
Business in crores is not reaching even 1 lakh
We visited 25 shops in the furniture market. The sales of any shopkeeper here has not increased since the incident of June 10. The place where violence took place during Friday prayers is just 3 to 4 km away from the market. After the strictness of the administration, most of the shops here were kept closed for the whole week. This also affected the sales of the shops. On the condition of not appearing on camera, a wood trader told that there are about 475 shops in the entire market. In normal days, there is a business of 15 to 20 crores in a month. But a week after the violence, the total sales here have not even reached lakhs.
Due to the video of the ruckus going viral, people ordered less goods
Furniture made in National Handicraft is exported to the US, Canada and China besides Gulf countries. Apart from this, there are also supplies in different states of the country. Raees says, “The whole country and the world saw the video of the ruckus that took place here. There was a thinking among the people that if some goods were to be ordered, then the order should not get stuck due to the violence-prone area and our money would also go away. Not placing orders.”
Orders worth 50 to 80 crores went on standby
Mansoor Badar, Joint Secretary, Saharanpur Timber Association says, “Saharanpur’s wooden items are in high demand in the Gulf countries in the world. But after the statement made on the Prophet, these countries have stopped the orders for the time being. So after the violence orders worth 50 to 80 crores have gone on standby.”
More than 90 working class people out of 102 people arrested in violence
According to Mansoor, most of the population from the Ghantaghar to the Jama Masjid area is of the working class. This is the reason that 90% of the 102 people arrested belong to the labor class. Most of them are directly and indirectly associated with the timber business. After the violence, the police were raiding for the arrest of the people seen on camera. Fearing this, the workers associated with the wood factories did not go to work. This has caused great loss to the business.
Transport sector was also affected
Aslam, a resident of Khatakhedi, runs Dala for the last 15 years. They supply wooden chairs, cupboards and idols to Meerut, Bareilly, Moradabad, Haridwar, Ambala and Dehradun. Aslam says, “Our livelihood depends on the orders coming here. The shopkeepers here call us to supply the goods. But the sales have come down after the riots. Our car is parked at home for the last 8 days.”
Wood carving business of Saharanpur is 250 years old
According to the Saharanpur Handicrafts Artisans and Exporters Association, the wood carving business of the district is 250 years old. This industry gives employment to more than one lakh people. Apart from inter-state business here, goods are supplied to America, France, Germany, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Ukraine. The furniture industry generates a turnover of Rs 200 crore in a year. Pul Kambohan, Khata Khedi, Ranch ka bridge, Rangdo ka bridge, Banjaron ka bridge, Kamboh ka bridge are the highest wood carving work in the areas.
Credit: www.bhaskar.com /