Boat being constructed in Sarsaiya Ghat, Kanpur (Photo/ANI)
Boat being constructed in Sarsaiya Ghat, Kanpur (Photo/ANI)

Boatmakers from Kanpur praying for monsoon to sustain their three-generation old business

ANI | Updated: Jul 13, 2019 19:57 IST

Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India[, July 13 (ANI): With a weak monsoon so far across India, a huge part of the country's economy is banking on a strong monsoon. Boatmakers based in Sarsaiya Ghat in Kanpur are eagerly praying for rains in the land.
The boatmakers earn profits for the whole year during the monsoon season itself, which usually lasts a couple of months. Currently housing 40 families, almost everyone is a third generation boat maker.
Their customers hail from multiple states like UP, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. The unique selling point of Kanpur's boats is that they are one of the cheapest boats available across the country.
Devavrat, a third-generation boatmaker, said," Our boats are made from wood, which makes them very cheap. Also, they are very easy to handle and thus navigation is easier. Also, they are durable and their operational age is from 5-6 years, which is a great return on the money"
Boats are available in varying sizes, depending on seating capacity, 13-feet to 20-feet long boats are available. A single boat can go from anywhere between Rs 5000 to Rs 15000.
"We hope that rains arrive as soon as possible so that we can sell our inventory. Floods would be even better for our business!", Devavrat added.
The irony of their business is that during the floods they say their business thrives the most. Not just private customers, even government also procures boats from them for rescue operations and other purposes during these times.
Other than monsoon, the community finds employment elsewhere outside Uttar Pradesh. They get employed by contractors in hydropower projects in states of Rajasthan and Gujarat as there is a huge need for boats in such places.
"Unfortunately, we can only work as labourers there as we do not have enough money to bid for contracts.", said Krishan Kumar, another third-generation boat maker.
A customer, who bought a 13-feet boat for Rs 7,000 said, "You cannot find boats anywhere that are cheaper than the ones sold here. This boat suits our farming needs perfectly."
The community now is hoping for rains to arrive as early as possible, else it could impact the business which is a source of income for these families for 80-90 years, spanning across multiple generations. (ANI)