pvc pipe manufacturing machine supplier thermocol plate making machine:Lockdown decimates Mandi’s leaf-plate making industry

pvc pipe manufacturing machine supplier thermocol plate making machine:Lockdown decimates Mandi’s leaf-plate making industry

  Dipender Manta

  Tribune News Service

  Mandi, May 24

  Baldev is a worried man. The lockdown called in March 25 to stop the spread of coronavirus has taken away his livelihood, and now he wonders how he would feed his family.

  Baldev, who belongs to Grahan panchayat in Mandi district, is one among a section of people who make leaf plates for a living. Himachal Government’s ban on thermocol plates in June 2018 came as a boon for over 100 families in Mandi who make a living from selling these plates—demand for these environmentally-friendly plates suddenly shot up. 

  Leaf plates-making is a cottage industry. Leaf plates are traditionally made of the leaves of Taur plant found in the forests of Mandi. On an average day, men and women form groups to collect the leaves, and then stitch them together to make plates used in major festivals and marriages, such as Mandyali Dham—the district’s most famous “dham”.

  Each plate cost Rs 2, and before the pandemic, a leaf-plate maker made Rs 500-700 on an average day.

  However, since March 25, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a lockdown, there have been no marriages and festivals, and demand for the leaf plates have come down dramatically.  

  Says Suresh Kumar, another plate-maker: “I have a stack of plates dumped at home, but I don’t know what to do with it”.

  Business looks bleak at the moment, and the uncertainty of how long this would continue continues to trouble him.

  For people like Baldev, this lack of demand means looking for other means of livelihood, such as the central government’s MNREGA.  

  “I have a family to feed. I don’t know what to do because I have no money,” he says. 

pvc pipe manufacturing machine supplier thermocol plate making machine:Lockdown decimates Mandi’s leaf-plate making industry