Srinagar Sep 17: Stating that upliftment of artisans is government’s top priority; authorities said that over Rs 10 crore financial assistance have been provided to artisans last year.
At least 3 lakh people are associated with handicrafts including carpets, papier-machie, shawls, wood carving.
These artisans are paid around Rs 30,000 by middleman or brokers after working for six months and these carpets are then being sold for lakhs in markets.
However, authorities said that upliftment of artisans is administration’s top priority.
“We are also making societies where the government provides financial assistance to artisans including carpet weavers. Last year the government gave financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to artisans. Similarly, the government also provides financial assistance to children of artisans,” Director Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir Mahmood Ahmad Shah said.
There are hundreds of artisans who are struggling to feed their families as they are not rewarded back for their efforts and hard work.
Despite having a rich and diverse tradition of handicrafts in the Valley, experts say the men and women behind such beautiful pieces of work don’t always get their due.
The iconic Kashmiri carpets are known for their exquisite designs and intricate workmanship. Over the period of time, world-class masterpieces have been created particularly during the Mughal-Afghan and Sikh-Dogra period. Some of these masterpieces are displayed in renowned museums across the world.
Depending on the intricacy and complexity of the design being woven, an artisan can weave a maximum of a few centimeters of a carpet per day and may take between 4 months to 8 months or more to be completed.
Kashmiri carpets will also be laid on the floors of the new House of Parliament under construction in New Delhi.
Qamar Ali Khan of Tahiri Carpet has received an order from a Delhi-based company to manufacture 12 traditional Kashmiri silk carpets of 8×11 feet size.
At least 50 artisans of Kashmir are these days busy in weaving these carpets.
Parveez Ahmad Khan, 23, from Khag Budgam is one of the artisans who is weaving a carpet for Parliament these days.
“We used to earn very less. During 2012-2013, the rates of carpet weaving were good but then went down for unknown reasons. We still continued it. In 2022, we got the order of weaving 12 carpets for the Parliament and we make good money out of it. We will continue this profession if we get good rates,” Parveez said, who has been in the profession of carpet weaving for the last 15 years.
Another carpet weaver Ghulam Mohammad Malik of Shunglipora Khag said they should get good rates for weaving carpet.
“We get good remuneration for weaving Parliament carpet and we should continue to get this rate in the future otherwise we won’t be able to continue this profession. It becomes very difficult to survive on this earnings if we get less than Rs 200 per day,” he added.