Women, be self-reliant: Arifa's message on PM's Twitter handle

Kashmiri woman Arifa Jan, who has spun a success story of her own through revival of the Valley’s Numdah handicraft, on Sunday tweeted on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter handle to emphasise that women should focus on becoming self-reliant and also help other women.

Jan, 33, is the third woman achiever after Chennai-based social worker Sneha Mohandoss and bomb-blast survivor Malvika Iyer among the seven who will tweet — minutes after receiving the Nari Shakti Puraskar for 2019 — from Modi’s Twitter handle on Sunday to mark International Women’s Day.

Jan was awarded along with 15 other women by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Modi had announced on March 3 to give his social media platforms to women to handle on March 8.

“This gesture by PM@narendramodi has boosted my morale and it’ll help me to work harder for the betterment of the craft as well as the artisans all over Kashmir,” Jan tweeted.

“I feel it is important for more women to focus on becoming self-reliant and help other women.”

In a series of tweets, Jan said: “When tradition meets modernity, wonders can happen. I experienced this in my work. It is designed to suit the modern-day market. My first business activity was participating in an exhibition of handmade items in New Delhi. This exhibit attracted a good clientele and a turnover.

“I always dreamt of reviving the traditional crafts of Kashmir because this is a means to empower local women. I saw the condition of women artisans and so I began working to revise Numdah craft.

“I am Arifa from Kashmir and here is my life journey.”

Jan, the founder of Numdhah Handicrafts, has trained more than 100 women in Kashmir. She has employed 25 Kashmiri artisans and increased wages of her employees from Rs 175 to Rs 450 per day.

Despite financial constraints faced by a female entrepreneur apart from criticism, she has actively promoted new designs of Numdhah.

Jan was conferred for her outstanding achievement in the revival of felting craft of Kashmir by a leading business house in Kashmir in 2013, Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, and S-E-A Award in an event organised by a cold drinks company and Jagrati Yatra at Mumbai in 2018.