Srinagar: The future of carpet industry in the valley seems to be not as bright as interest levels, over the years, in gen-next of carpet weaving families taking up the century-old profession have gone down considerably.
The trend is ever-growing as young generation, in present times, gets lured to private and government jobs and feels that the carpet weaving wasn’t getting them the deserving rewards.
“If you see the interest levels have gone down considerably over the years as young generation has other avenues to be satisfied with. They prefer government and private jobs over the age old profession of their yester-generations,” said one of the leading carpet exporters of the valley.
Carpet industry is a vital cog of the state’s handicrafts industry as it contributes 50-60% to the total value of the sector. But the loose of interest amongst the new generations has put question marks on the future of the industry in the valley known for producing best hand -made carpets in the world.
“Young generation which is very educated view carpet weaving as a sign of forced labor. In addition to that they get good remuneration in alternative jobs,” he said.
Government, he said, wasn’t doing enough to encourage new generation to take up this profession.
“So many schemes have been announced by the government like Dastkar loans and corporate loans but nothing has been done on ground to improve the working conditions of the weavers,” he observed.
The annual turn-over of carpet industry has been on a nose-dive for last three years or so with 2009failing to cross Rs. 3 crore mark as compared to its Rs. 800 crore recorded in 2007.
Dwindling trend is attributed to lack of interest among the gen-next, global recession and three successive summers of unrest in the valley.
“Raw material and payments couldn’t reach to the weavers on time as Kashmir witnessed curfews and shutdowns. It also affected our business,” Mehraj-u-Din a Srinagar based weaver told Agence India Press.
He felt that paltry earnings from the carpet weaving ware preventing young generation from taking up the trade.
“Carpet weaving is an art and people who posses it don’t get more than what a usual labor does. It requires skill, endurance and physical stamina to weave a good carpet,” he said.
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