BSS, Barguna : More than 200 families of some remote villages in the district are engaged in weaving hogla mat and they are now better off with their own efforts. They use hogla pata, the leaves of hogla plant, one kind of grass cultivated on the marshy lands like the river banks, in weaving this mat used by the poor and middle class people in the rural areas for sleeping as well as other purposes. “Hogla Pati is a blessing for the poor people in this area as with little investment they are making the mats and earning their livelihood after selling those in the markets,” said Shahabuddin Panu, executive director of NSS, a local NGO. Talking to BSS Shohel Hafiz, secretary of Barguna Press Club, said thousands of mats are produced from the hogla plant every year and are sold in the adjoining districts like Patuakhali, Barisal and even in Dhaka. “The members of these families are very expert in making the mats,” he added. During a recent visit of BSS correspondent to different villages of Taltoli, Pathorghata, and Amtali Upazila, villagers were found busy in making mats at their own houses. Many of the villagers make mats collectively in their families with the participation of all members. Rajjak Mia, 52, a farmer of Boithakata Village under Amtali upazila is also engaged in this profession for the last 20 years. He said the process of making mats with ‘hogla pata’ is simple and it does not need big investment as the main material of this handicraft product is available on the local river banks. “The mats are usually used by lower middle class people for sleeping and other domestic purposes and also as prayer mats,” said Aktarujjaman Badol, a UP Chairman in this district. He added that the mats are also used in making fish baskets and poor fishermen use it to make their shelter at char areas. “I come here to buy hogla pati as now it has great demand to the middle and lower-middle class people because of its quality and cheaper rate,” said Rahaman Shikdar, a wholesaler from Barisal said at Barguna Bazar today. Bashir Hossain, an officer of District Social Welfare Department said, now one pati weaver is able to earn above Taka 6,000 a month by making at least four mats daily.