As poll campaigning gains momentum, Odisha crafts workers rush to complete orders, earn extra income

Bhubaneswar (Odisha): For families in various slums in Odisha’s capital city, the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, for which campaigning is underway in full swing, is proving to be an opportunity to earn some additional income.

Several political parties have placed orders for making bamboo sticks, poles, flags and flag holders of different sizes that are being used during election campaigning and there is a rush to complete the orders.

“Usually, we make bamboo items like baskets, roofing, matting and other home items. We do not get a lot of money by selling these items but during this election season, we are getting extra work as different political parties are giving us orders to make bamboo sticks, poles and flag holders for use for election campaigning,” a bamboo craftsman named Ponaulli Kamaraj said here.

“Elections are an extra income source for us. After the election, we will not get the means to earn extra money hence we are taking maximum number of orders and are trying our level best to finish it on time,” Naveen, a wage labourer said.

The craftsmen are charging between Rs 2 to Rs 4 for a three to five feet of bamboo stick and more for flags. Every family involved in the part-time business are getting orders of around 500 to 1000 flags and are earning an estimated Rs 1000 to Rs 3000 per day.

Odisha will vote in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. The state will be voting simultaneously for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats.