Kumaar Mohalla, a locality in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, was abuzz with unprecedented actions this November, with kilns working all through the day. Noor Muhammad Kumar, 54, a potter, roped in his two brothers and neighbours to satisfy orders for 10,000 earthen lamps from exterior the State, for Deepavali. “It has been a busy month. The only time we would take breaks was during daily namaz,” he mentioned.
Kashmir Valley has a minuscule Hindu inhabitants. However, with the rising variety of jawans, migrant labourers, and Hindu households celebrating Deepavali in Kashmir this yr, scores of temples, renovated throughout the Valley prior to now 4 years, are set for particular prayers on the event.
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Kumaar Mohalla itself, nevertheless, as soon as house to about 25 households of potters, now has nearly six households whose kilns are nonetheless practical. Muhammad Umar, 29, from a standard potter’s household in Srinagar’s Ishber Nishat space, is witness to the decline of the sector over the previous three many years.
“The modern way of life brought down the use of earthen utensils in Kashmir, denting sales. The past three years, however, have seen a revival of sorts. Diwali has played a role in it. Besides, glazed pottery is again in fashion in Kashmir, making pottery a viable option to earn our living,” Mr. Umar, a commerce graduate, mentioned. He has employed two further staff to satisfy the demand of about 20,000 lamps this season.
Mr. Umar has innovated with earthen lamps this yr. “We have created a special thali with lamps placed in a circular fashion. We have also painted earthen lamps to make them more attractive,” Mr. Umar, who labored for about 12 hours a day this month, mentioned.
The localities of potters in Zewan, Lethpora, Nishat and Rainawari too chipped in to satisfy the demand. “We are getting orders from Jammu and outside,” Mr. Umar mentioned. A tough estimate from the kilns in Srinagar and Ganderbal districts steered that over 1 lakh lamps have been equipped from the Valley this yr for Deepavali.
The revival of the pottery sector in Kashmir is spurred on by the introduction of electricity-driven wheels and spinners, making it much less labour-intensive. This yr, the federal government introduced coaching, credit score, and market assist for potters in Kashmir below the PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman.