Instead of Taking up a Job, Woman Revive Kashmir’s Dying Traditional Craft

Arifa Jan, from Srinagar, Kashmir, has been reviving the dying Kashmiri craft of Namda – a rug made of felted wools.

Arifa Jan, a commerce graduate from Srinagar, is on a mission to revive the dying Kashmiri craft of ‘Namda’ rugs. These rugs are made of the lesser-known felted wool. These rugs were 98% exported in the past but reached 2% recently. So, Arifa thought she should revive this craft and she did. Now the demand of these rugs is very high.

Now, apart from reviving the traditional craft, she had worked with around 100 local artisans, most of whom were women. In 2014, Arifa became the only Kashmiri woman to be nominated for the United States Department of the Woman Entrepreneurship Program. America offered her US citizenship, but she chose to stay in India and work with local artisans. Her products get exported to 11 countries and their feedback is excellent.

In 2020, she was honoured with the Nari Sakthi award for her hard work and efforts in reviving the craft.

Credit: The Better India

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