Had it not been for the new store of Buray yarn at Rangjung in Trashigang, many weavers here in Trashigang wouldn’t have much to weave last year.
With the border gates closed since early last year, weavers in Trashigang faced difficulties to get the Buray fiber, which people travelled and fetched from the Indian neighboring border town of Gudama, a few kilometers away from the main Samdrup Jongkhar town.
However, the new outlet of Buray yarn opened at Rangjung, 17km away from Trashigang, has eased the problems of the weavers during the time of the pandemic.
Even the outlet’s owner at Rangjung, Namgay Peldon, 70, agrees that after her store opened, it has helped a lot of people of the eastern regions.
“People come from everywhere to get the yarn,” she said, adding that people of Radhi gewog has, however, been her main customer.
“I started my business after knowing the situation of people when they faced difficulties in getting the yarn mainly for Buray,” she added.
While threads for other types are available in many shops, Namgay Peldon said people have to travel to Gudama to purchase Buray fiber, which has become problematic because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said she got the idea of opening her business when the positive cases were increasing in the country and when she just opened her business, the first lockdown was imposed in the country.
According to Namgay Peldon, she orders the Buray yarn all the way from Delhi, India and the product reaches her after one month.
“There is where it’s problematic for us. I placed an order recently, but it has not reached here yet,” she said, adding that individuals have been rushing to buy the yarn ever since she opened her business for the first time.
“As they were without the yarn for a few weeks, some people purchased in bulk as they travelled even from far distances,” Namgay Peldon said, adding that she made a profit of Nu 30,000 to Nu 40,000 per month.
“It is a good business and I think it can be helpful in the future,” she said.
A weaver, cheki, said after the store opened, it had helped them to easily get the yarns.
And though the weavers are charged double the price for the yarn, she is satisfied that the yarns are accessible to them.
“While the travel was difficult and hard to Samdrup Jongkhar after the lockdown, I am happy to get the yarn easily,” she said.
Another woman from Radhi Gewog said she was able to save the travel cost after the new store opened in Rangjung.
‘When we were in short of Buray fibers; the shop helped us to get the yarn easily. I would have stayed idle if the yarn was unavailable,” she said, adding that weaving is their alternative source of income.
Karma Wangmo, 45, said weaving is her only source of income as a divorced woman.
She said she was worried after the first lockdown was imposed and she feared not getting the yarn.
“I was happy after hearing that a new store of Buray fiber had opened,” she said. Moreover, women weavers were trained on the process of dying and coloring of Buray yarn for 10 days recently.
Tenzin Lhamo from Trashigang