Budgam: The continuous price fall in Pashmina sellouts as an of alternate machine made choices has wrecked the vigour of Pashmina Weaving. The certain apathy of concerned authorities has compelled its artisans to quit the sacred job representing the hundreds year old art and tradition of Kashmir.
Kashmir has become well-known for its diverse fetching artworks across the world and Kani shawl is one among them. These shawls are considered valuable and identical because of its handmade fetching artwork. The art of making Kani shawl is totally different in its preparation and ingredients. Kani shawl weaving is a century old handicraft of Kashmir. Artisans use bobbins attached to different coloured threads to create the Kani Shawls according to the specific format and Pashmina Taleem. Kanihama was its first origin where pashmina yarn was common and gradually it spread across the valley as of high demand.
A well Experienced Pashmina Artisan Javaid Ahmad Ganie said, “Before two decades when I was a trainee of this craftsmanship, I still remember that the rate of small jam piece was at least fifty thousand to sixty thousand but unfortunately from past seven to eight years, the continuous fall in prices with due apathy of government and Machine weaved Shawls periled this noble profession.” Adding further he said, “due availability of different choices and at lowest prices in market turned the attention of customers towards machine Shawls that became the serious cause for jeopardizing the vigour of Kani Shawl weaving.
The art of handwoven Kani Shawl by using inelastic spinning threads of different hues is very famous for creating mirth in customers across the world and highly demandable on both domestic and international market.
Suhail Ahmad Ganie, a pashmina artisan said, “Before two years, I and my brother was consistently dealing with this noble profession but due to successive decline in prices of Kani Shawls intensely compelled us to opt other ways of earning.” Moreover, he added, that he is now doing the job of weaving shawls in winter only because of harsh chilly winter not allows him to work in free atmosphere comfortably and his brother completely quit from artisan work due to a reason of earning least incentives.
Fayaz Ahmad, ahead of artisans and national award winner said, “I am dealing with this noble art from last decade and in the beginning, the vigor and satisfactory earning from this job have created curiosity in my mind to work more in proper skilled manner for making work as instance, even for my hard work one of my pashmina pieces was selected for national award in 2010. Besides this, he mentioned, even at this time he is still working so hard with tooth and nail because of receiving national honorary award became a kind license for him to sell out their products in the international market where they were earning more than domestic level but under in limited tertiary.
Moreover, they added but now due to successive fall in prices at a state level, high brokerage of middle men’s and marketing of machine shawls by labelling as original gleamed the image of Kashmiri Kani shawls and wreaked the outburst in their noble profession which ensued most of the weavers felt unsatisfied and left this job.
No doubt government has erected many cluster centers for purpose of uplifting Shawl weavers but instead of encouraging pashmina weavers by providing them basic facilities, its officials indiscriminately submerged them in distraught by creating impediment through providing fake registrations to people who even knows nothing about pashmina weaving which resulted nowadays they were selling machine woven Shawls at same prices as like pashmina shawls by befooling customers with making fake promises which became one of the serious cause in declining prices of Pashmina Shawls, alleged group of artisans and in addition, they stated state government totally failed in preserving this art and most of its concerned officers are working for their self-vested interests which forced them to evacuate this job.
Urging upon the state level government for facilitating interest-free financial assistance, promote favourable market and look into the matter to reject illegal registrations of those locals who are not concerned with this matter, they said.
“Weaving Kani shawl takes at least three months in completion with the support of two persons on a number of Rupees forty thousand as wages for which both are entitled equally,” Bilal Ahmad(29) shared. Simplifying it, he said that their monthly income from this profession is approximately rupees six thousand six hundred including all expenses, which hardly helps them for meeting their basic necessities of life.
However, Bashir Ahmad Wani, Joint Director Handloom Department Kashmir, denied the fact of Job quitting by Pashmina weavers as there is no such case reported in the concerned department. He said, “Our department is working hard to facilitate the weavers by providing the loans and various marketing facilities after proper verification from time to time.”