Artisans from central Kashmir’s Budgam district are busy these days preparing handmade Kashmiri carpets for the Parliament building.
The local artisans of Shunglipora village of the district here are currently working on the carpets after receiving orders for the work through a local dealer.
Shunglipora, is a small village in Budgam district where nearly 60 per cent of the population are artisans, and this has been their livelihood for generations.
Abdul Rahim Khan, a young carpet weaver, told Rising Kashmir that he started traditional carpet weaving in the year 2017, thus carrying forward the family profession. “We are presently ten family members associated with this profession,” he said.
“It is a privilege for us to weave carpets for the Parliament of India,” he added.
Currently, Khan along with other local artisans are working on nine Kashmiri carpets.
"There are other three carpets which artisans are weaving in nearby villages including Lachmanpora, Chill and Lassipora villages thus preparing a total of 12 carpets for the Parliament," Khan informed.
Another carpet weaver Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan said the carpets which are under process are rectangular and are embedded with 12 different colours.
“The size of these 12 carpets would be 8 feet and 10 inches. A total of 12 families including 48 artisans are working on these carpets," Khan said.
He said that the process of Kashmiri carpet making is quite laborious, for it involves a lot of time and different steps starting right from the cultivation of silk, wool, treating and dyeing, deciding the pattern, weaving, and then adding the final touches.
"In most of our villages, people are earning their livelihood through this art. Although for the other people here, this is also a part-time job. As for as we are concerned, this is our full-time profession,” Imtiyaz said.
Shareefa Bano, one of the female artisans, said that she started this work 15 years ago.
“I carried forward this profession even after getting married in the year 2020. Even my husband is also in this profession,” Bano said
She said that this is the first time that they have received such a ‘big order’ weaving for the parliament.
After this work was given to the various villages here, people are now hopeful that they will receive more orders which will eventually give a boost to this traditional art.
“The government should also provide the carpet work for our villages, so we can receive good rates and this art will remain preserved for the upcoming generation," Bano said.
She said that this art is also helping women to earn their livelihood and most of the women from other villages are also associated with this work.
The artisans said that they have the calibre to uplift this art with the needed help of the government. “We need to be given due attention so that this artwork will relive for generations to come,” they added.