Samba (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 5 (ANI): As small businesses and daily wage earners are among the hardest hit by the second wave of COVID-19, a similar story was told by bamboo artists at the Jammu and Kashmir Samba, which is known for its traditional paintings and handicrafts.
Many Samba families, who found a way out of unemployment as creators of exclusive bamboo products, have been hit hard by the restrictions imposed due to the ongoing pandemic.
In Samba, families from villages in Jalpar, Samlah, Katera, Sangwali and Bardhan have made a living selling bamboo products. However, with the lock in place, these families were unable to sell their items and had to face difficult times to reach two.
Locals have learned from their elders the ability to make bamboo products such as baskets, chairs and bins.
Speaking to ANI, Ashok Kumar, an artisan from the village of Ketera in Samba, said: “We find it very difficult to sell our items in this closure. With all markets closed and closed with transport, we cannot sell made-up products either. for us in our area, we can’t even ship it to nearby areas. ”“ We’re working every day, making more and more items … but where do we sell them? ”he asked.
Ashok has been working as a bamboo craftsman for over 50 years. He also passed on the skill as a family heirloom to his children and has also worked as a teacher in the handloom department.
“My whole family works together in this business, and we were doing well. But the blockade has left us in a strange situation. We have never faced a situation as bad as this, now it is very difficult for us to survive without income,” he added.
Hoping the government would come forward to help artisans like him, Ashok said, “Our only hope is the government now. I ask them to facilitate the closure so that we can at least start selling our products.”
Another artisan from Bardhan village, Ramesh Kumar, said, “Previously, it was very easy for us to sell our products. People were interested in buying handmade items even locally. I went to many exhibitions all over. the country, on behalf of the handloom department … it was very easy to sell items there. ” He also told ANI that he got good profits from the exposures, but due to the blockade, the whole industry has stopped. “With the work stopped, it is very difficult for us to survive,” he added.
Last year, the Minister of Development of the Northeast Region (DoNER), Dr. Jitendra Singh, said that three bamboo clusters will be developed in the areas of Jammu, Katra and Samba to make bamboo basketry, Agarbatti and Bamboo Charcol.
He added that this initiative will provide direct employment to about 25,000 people. (ANI)