Srinagar, Mar 11: Women spinning wheel locally known as ’Yender’ was a common sight in Kashmir many years ago. But the art of spinning has almost disappeared as machines replaced the traditional wheel.
It was used to make yarn meant for Pashmina Shawl, which is as famous as the beauty of Kashmir.
Maryam Banoo, a resident of Akhoon Mohalla Ashai Bagh Srinagar who has been spinning pashmina on the wheel for the last two decades cited low wages as the cause for the decline of the trade.
She said that women would toil hard from dawn to dusk in spinning the fabric to produce delicate threads for making a shawl. Known globally for its light weight and luxury, spinning would earn women a meagre Rs 30-50 for a day.
“The returns are meagre as one gets Rs1 for a single knot. There has been no increase in rates. The returns are too little and this stands the reason why women are giving it up and opting for other vocations,” a woman told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
The craft would earn women their livelihood and would make them financially independent.
Sara Banoo recalls that it would fetch her Rs 1000-1500 a month and she would manage her financial affairs but the amount is no more sufficient for her needs in the face of inflation.
“We were earning Rs 1000 a month around 20 years ago and are earning the same today,” she said.
She said that the present generation is not interested in spinning wheels as they cannot meet their own demands let alone that of their families.
“We were hopeful that with GI tagging of pashmina products, the rates will increase but it hasn’t happened despite demand for Pashmina,“ a woman said.
She said the government should take up steps for its revival—(KNO)