Assam boatmakers 'make hay' with rains

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Salmora (Assam), July 15 (ANNI): With the onset of the monsoon in Assam, artisans involved in boat making are doing good business or 'making hay' with no sunshine.

The most popular boats in Majuli, the largest river island, are made in Salmora village. Here the boat makers move from village to village, completing the canoes within days and big boats taking a year to complete.

There is a specific wood for making boat called Azar, A small boat to seat two to three people, made of unseasoned wood.

Uttam Saikia, a boat maker said that the length and breadth of the small boats vary from 15 feet by 3 feet and the big boat is 140 feet by 15 feet.

"Salmora village is the place where the popular country boats are largely produced. We mostly use Azar wood for making of these boats. The making of small boat takes a day or two and the big boat takes almost a complete year," said Saikia.

Biren Kolita, another boat maker said that the boats were the most effective and sole lifeline of communication and transportation for Majulitians.

"Boat is the most effective and sole lifeline of communication and transportation for Majulitians. We are living in the land where it is fully surrounded by water. For us boat is used in ferrying household needs, the sick, for daily business and fetching water. Almost every household in Majuli owns a boat," Kolita added.

Around the island, there are 14 banks from where 16 private owned boats (big) and four government-owned ferries operate for carrying men and materials to and from Majuli.

Without this ferry service, Majuli would be cut off from the rest of the country, since the island is totally surrounded by water of mighty Brahmaputra River. By Apem Kamadoang (ANI)

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