MAKING PRAYER CAPS A RELIGIOUS DUTY FOR MOST BANGLADESHIS

Snowy white, colourfully embroidered or finely crocheted, prayer caps are becoming a booming industry and a lifetime business for hundreds of thousands of people in the Muslim Asian nation. Caps’ trading is the only business for them. Most of them consider making prayer caps a religious duty.

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Snowy white, colourfully embroidered or finely crocheted, prayer caps are becoming a booming industry and a lifetime business for hundreds of thousands of people in the Muslim Asian nation. Caps’ trading is the only business for them. Most of them consider making prayer caps a religious duty.
Prayer cap, which many Muslim men wear, makes a thriving business, with nearly half a million Bangladeshis working in the industry. Most of the production is made at homes or in few hundreds of small factories around the country. The cyber info city of Bogra and the chief seaport of Chittagong are the main centres of the industry.
Traders usually supply fabrics and yarn to cap workers. After the product is ready, merchants collect the caps and head to big bazaars in Dhaka, where foreign businessmen make their deals. About 20 million caps are being exported to countries all over the world every year.
As in many other small businesses in the country, women are the main workforce behind the cap-making industry. Thousands of women, college students and schoolgirls are working in the industry. Many of these women are the main bread-winners of their families. In Chittagong and Bogra alone, 300,000 women are engaged in the cap-making business.
In Bangladesh, women are critical income earners for the family. They comprise a large sector in many small businesses like weaving, pottery, farming and fishing.
However, many lament that the prayer caps industry receives little notice from the authorities.
The main rival in the industry is Asian giant China, which ranks first worldwide in exporting caps. The Chinese government supports caps industry with grand factories and copious capital.

Bangladesh is the world’s third-largest Muslim majority nation with a population of some 148 million. The national economy is the 31st largest in the world as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).