Traditional ‘Waguw’, the reed mat back in business after 20 yrs

Rise in demand has given us a new hope: Artisans

Mubashir Aalam Wani

Srinagar, Dec 18 : Traditional reed-mats locally known as ‘Waguw are back in business in Kashmir after a gap of 20 years.

Artisans and weavers have begun to weave traditional grass mats as demand for mats have risen in the market.

Talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) Zameer Ahmed a mat weaver said, “we have started our traditional craft after a gap of 20 years.”

“With the help of assistant director of Handicrafts Irshad Ahmed it was possible to restart this project. He even provided us with many orders and demand for the mats has also begun to increase,” Zameer said.

Assistant Director Handicrafts Irshad Ahmed talking to KNO said “Wagov is considered as a languishing craft and we have added it in our Karkhandar scheme.”

“We have established a training center for it, and assigned a lady to look after it. After the skill assessment test she has been assigned as a trainer in that center after proper registration”.

“We have almost identified seven more ladies from the same area who are skilled and experienced in this craft. So we enrolled them as trainees in the center. We are going to provide Rs 14000 per month to the trainees including the logistics,” he said.

The government has also issued orders for giving a fresh impetus in the handicraft sector of the Union Territory by unveiling the ‘KARKHANDAR SCHEME,’ which is a unique concept to uplift the artisans and weavers through training.

The mat is woven from the grass harvested from the lake waters and costs approximately Rs 500 per piece. The craft involves interweaving grass and rice straws together to create a piece of flooring which provides warmth in winters—(KNO)

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