Cattle hotels! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 14, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:15 AM, August 14, 2017

Cattle hotels!

250 families in Tangail earn extra taking care of animals of a cattle market

Over 250 families of several villages Tangail's Bhuapur upazila are finding some quick cash by turning their front yards into hotels for cattle.

The business developed in the last three decades around the age-old Govindashi cattle market by the Jamuna river.

The hotel keepers are doing brisk business as the market, one of the largest in the country, gained momentum with the Eid-ul-Azha only weeks away.

The services include feeding, bathing and cleaning the cattle litter. 

As the market is only open on Thursdays and Sundays, trucks and boats full of animals arrive there from across the country, Azmat Khan, who collects fees from cattle traders, said.

He added that sellers and buyers often need a place somewhere in the vicinity to keep their unsold or newly bought cattle and they take the services offered by the villagers.

Joynal Miah, a cattle trader from Noakhali, said, "People sometimes arrive here a couple of days ahead of the market days and sometimes stay here for a week if they fail to sell the cows."

Like most people in the area, Salam Miah, has put sheds on the front and back yards of his house.

"We take Tk 10 a day for each cow in the shed. Owners feed and give them shower. There are additional charges if we do those things," he said, adding that he earns about Tk 12,000 to 15,000 each month.

Most houses in the village keep about 50-200 cows in the sheds. But their income has been falling in recent years due to reduced cattle supply to the market, Salam said.

"Large numbers of cattle from the northern districts used to be supplied to Govindashi market. After the construction of the Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge, farmers started taking the cows directly to different parts of the country including the capital," he added.

Govinda Ghosh, a sexagenarian of Govindashi village, said he has been seeing people selling household necessities by the river since he was a child.

Villagers started selling cows and goats there during the 70s and the market grew over the years, drawing attention of traders, he said.

"When a lot of people kept arriving with cows and some of them had to stay overnight, they asked the villagers' permission to keep the cows in their yards and sometimes gave them some money for the favour.

"The villagers soon realised the business potentials and started what they call hotels," he said.

Villages where the business spilled over include Khanurbari, Bhalkutia, Kukadair, Routbari, Jigatala, Bagbari, Sthalkashi, Matikata and Chituliapara.

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