Ahead of I-day, Kashmir potter gets bumper offer

Admin asks him to prepare 10k oil lamps, to be lit up along Dal Lake embankment

Srinagar: This year, Diwali has come early for Mohammad Umar, a potter who has bagged an order for 10,000 oil lamps from the Jammu and Kashmir administration for Independence Day celebrations.

This is the biggest order Umar has received in recent years.

“My family has been doing pottery for generations and I have been doing it since childhood.

“Ahead of Independence Day, we received a bulk order for earthen lamps. I am very delighted to have received this order as it has generated a huge income for us,” Umar said.

Initially, the administration had placed an order for 5,000 oil lamps but then it doubled it, he said.

“We have made more than 8,000 lamps and hopefully all lamps will be ready in the next couple of days,” he added.

This “unexpected order” is what is keeping Umar’s seven-member team busy these days.

Umar said pottery art is on the decline but when the oil lamps will be lit in front of the Tricolour, it will help create awareness about it and generate a demand for earthen products.

“A potter makes gold out of clay and now authorities are working to revive this craft by launching a number of schemes. In Kashmir, we do not get such big orders except for Diwali,” he added.

The oil lamps will be lit on the evening of August 13 at Zabarwan Park along the banks of the famous Dal Lake here.

Showkat Ahmad Kumar, who works with Umar, said he is very happy with the order as it will lead to more earning opportunities for them.

Handicrafts Department Director Mahmood Shah said it is very important that the government extend support to artisans.

“The order given to the potters is not a one-time order. We are trying to promote local souvenirs in government events and we also want that every office should proudly display the art forms of Jammu and Kashmir. Such orders are very encouraging for the artisan community,” Shah said. (Agencies)

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