March 2017 News

Machine Made Pashmina A Threat To Our Livelihood, Artisans Protest

13 March 2017
Kashmir Life
Aabid Hussain

Srinagar: Over the increasing use of machines in making of shawls, artisans handcrafting Pashmina staged a protest on Monday in Press Colony Srinagar, asserting that their livelihood is at risk. The protestors with placards 'save Pashmina workers', 'stop machine made Pashmina', said that, by the use of machines 'it is not only their livelihood that is endangered but will lead to end of an art.' 'Using power loom, means using substandard in Pashmina which is directly proportional to the fall of Kashmiri Pashmina,' protesters lamented. They also alleged that despite repeated requests to the Handicraft department officials, their cries are being overlooked, repeatedly. 'Government has allowed power loom only for the works of Rafal,' said Hilal Ahmad Khan, an artisan while protesting, 'but there is no check by officials as that what they are using.' 'As government is claiming to save our tradition, but on the other hand they are destroying it on their own', said John Mohammad, a protestor from Tangpora, Srinagar. 'Government is creating more and more unemployment while using power looms, which is preparing almost 60 of machine made Pashmina Shawls', said Hilal Ahmad Khan a protestor. 'We prepare the pashminas at home with our hand, where our Mothers and sisters use spinning wheels with no mixture', Khan added. The protestors threatened of valley vide protests if government doesn't pay attention to their demands.

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