To give impetus to the famous shola article-makers of Bonkapasi village of Mongalkote block of the district of Purba Bardhaman, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has designated the place as a Shola Hub. This is a big step towards a more sustaining future for this traditional cottage industry.
Shola (or ‘sholapith’ in English) is the dried milky-white spongy matter which comprises the bark of the shola plant. It has traditionally been shaped into various objects like ornaments for goddesses (called ‘daaker kaaj’ in Bengali), necklaces and other ornaments, headgear for bridegrooms (‘topor’), etc.
The more than 2,818 artisans and 97 self-help groups (SHG) who comprise the shola workforce of Bonkapasi can now expect a much brighter future. Infrastructural improvements will follow soon, which would lead to better working conditions, better quality and quantity of products, and consequently, much more earnings.