Bilal Ahmed Ganai
The glory and fame which Kashmiri Pashmina enjoys is centuries old. While it started in Kashmir itself, but soon the entire world was found swooning over the craft. The westerners would spend time looking at each process associated in preparing a Pashmina shawl. They would spend time in households, observing women, who spun the raw Pashmina wool into yarn. A weaver would consume their days together as they would love to observe weavers working over a wooden classic hand loom. They would devote days together to watch embroidery artisans fill plain shawls with mesmerizing designs in the most intricate patterns. Such was the magical spell that Pashmina had cast over the west, Asia and locals alike. Pashmina Artisans were revered in every corner of the world. They were given free tickets to foreign places so that they could train newbies there. Artisans would receive national and state awards for their contributions, all with their bare hands. Artisans received a celebrity treatment locally and it would be pretty fair to say that they were kings of their times. Introduction of Power looms With the emergence of motorization and mechanization in the Pashmina trade as introduced by the cruel capitalism, more than 2 lakh people were rendered jobless. Artisans have complained many a times that scores of influential traders use spinning machines and power looms even after a ban has been imposed upon their use. More than 40 power looms are located in industrial areas. These were actually meant for producing wool, but are producing Pashmina shawls secretly. Once a shawl gets ready, it is treated with chemicals which affects its quality & life. Power looms mix Pashmina yarn with nylon to make it strong, which is against the traditional values of this craft. Pashmina craft is also threatened by its imitations as the expensive handmade wrap looses markets against cheap machine made pieces which look and feel exactly the same. Thousands of artisans in the state associated with Pashmina are living in poverty as they earn minimal wages despite working for long hours continuously.The sedentary work affects their vision, hurts their knees, develops back & neck pain resulting in more hardships for them. One such artisan is young and brilliant Bilal Ahmed Ganai. Eventhough Bilal is content with the work as of now, but is very aware of the financial problems that he will face once he gets married. He is just 30 now and has no plans of getting married, because he doesn't earn well.
Bilal And Pashmina.com
Bilal wants to work hard with Pashmina, wants to earn more take care of his family and wants to start his own family, get married and have kids. And hence he is totally inclined toward sour working model. Since the day he has joined us, Bilal gets payments month wise and not work wise. He loves to experience our handmade shawls as it has been a long time he has done so. Bilal wants the local government to take stern action against power loom owners so that the glory of pure Pashmina triumphs once again.