Kashmir Indepth

Kashmiri carpets to adorn new Parliament building may change fortunes of artisans

Raouf Dar

Srinagar Sep 22 (KINS): As Kashmiri carpets are set to adorn the new building of the Parliament; it has raised a hope for artisans to get better returns of their work.

At least 50 artisans of Kashmir are these days busy in weaving 12 carpets that will adorn the halls of the new Parliament building in New Delhi.

Kashmir Carpets and Kani Shawls 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.

The artisans said they are getting peanuts for their work. However, after receiving orders for weaving carpets for the Parliament, it has raised a hope among them of living a better living.

Parveez Ahmad Khan, 23, from Khag Budgam has been in the profession of carpet weaving for the last 15 years.

“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 told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

Another artisan Tariq Ahmad Khan of Khag Budgam has been weaving carpets for the last 15 years.

“It is a great honour to make a carpet for Parliament. We are making this type of carpet for the first time. It has a great design. In six-months, four people can complete one carpet. One has to work very hard in this profession,” he said.

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.  We earn Rs 150 per day but for weaving carpets for Parliament we get rates of over Rs 500 per day. It becomes very difficult to survive on these earnings if we get less than Rs 200 per day,” he added.

Director Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir Mahmood Ahmad Shah said there are various schemes for upliftment of artisans in the valley.

“We are also making societies where the government provides financial assistance to artisans. Last year the government gave financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to artisans. Similarly, the government also provides financial assistance to children of artisans,” he added. (KINS)

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