Sales of Dhaka items soar in Palpa districtSales of Dhaka products have surged in the western Nepali district of Palpa with the arrival of Tihar festival and rise in inflow of domestic tourists.
Sales of Dhaka products have surged in the western Nepali district of Palpa with the arrival of Tihar festival and rise in inflow of domestic tourists.
Hand-knitted Palpali Dhaka has carved a niche for itself in the country and is woven into Dhaka topis, or caps worn by Nepalis, and daura surwal (tunic and leggings) that grooms don during weddings.
These days, shawls, bags and coats made of Dhaka are also gaining popularity. “Most of the people who visit Palpa generally want to take home gifts made of Dhaka textile,” said Sagarman Maharjan, a Dhaka trader.
With the beginning of Dashain holidays, many domestic tourists have started thronging Palpa.
It is said Tansen, the district headquarter of Palpa, alone receives around 1,000 domestic tourists per day. No wonder, most of the shops that sell Dhaka products are brimming with buyers of gifts made of Dhaka.
The growing sales of Dhaka products have also coincided with the Tihar festival, which officially began on Friday. Demand for Dhaka topis grows during Tihar, as this cap is used during Bhaitika, the last day of the festival when brothers and sisters receive blessings from each other. “Because of this and soaring number of Dhaka gift buyers, sales have gone up five-fold lately,” Manoj Raj Poudyal, chief of Poudyal Dhaka Textile, said.
Shops in Palpa that used to generate revenue of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per day from sales of Dhaka products are now seeing daily turnover of over Rs 60,000. Dhaka produced in Palpa is sold in various parts of the country. Demand for Dhaka products is also quite high in the Gulf countries, Europe and the US, where many Nepalis are working.
However, not all Dhaka textile that is woven into various products sold inside and outside the country is produced in Palpa.
Lately, some of the districts in eastern Nepal and bordering Indian towns like Gorakhpur and Sunauli have also started producing Dhaka textile. This has eroded the competitiveness of hand-knitted Dhaka manufactured in Palpa.
As a result, jobs created by Dhaka manufacturing units in the district have fallen to around 1,000 from 10,000 few years ago, according to the Office of Cottage and Small Industries. “But Palpali Dhaka has created its own identity, so people still look for the textile produced here,” said Mohan Prasad Shrestha, president of Palpa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
As per estimates of the Office of Cottage and Small Industries, Palpa sell Dhaka products worth Rs 100 million per year. However, quite a big chunk of textile used in production of these goods is brought into the district from elsewhere.