Srinagar, May 20: The Kumar family from Srinagar, renowned for their exquisite glazed pottery craftsmanship, is preparing to showcase their creations at the upcoming G20 summit in Kashmir.
Abdul Salam Kumar, a seasoned potter hailing from Ishber Nishat, began his journey in the art of pottery at the age of 10, working alongside his father. Today, together with his three sons, he has preserved and continued this traditional craft, earning recognition throughout the Kashmir region. Reflecting on their journey, Abdul Salam expressed gratitude to Almighty Allah for sustaining their livelihood through the pottery trade. Despite facing various challenges over the years, the family's dedication to their craft has ensured their steady income.
"Youth must learn the value of hard work to secure their livelihoods. If anyone is interested in learning this art, I am willing to teach them for free," Abdul Salam stated with generosity.
Mohammad Umar Kumar, Abdul Salam's 28-year-old son, joined his father's pottery business after completing his B.Com degree. Faced with a high unemployment rate in Kashmir, Mohammad Umar decided to continue the family legacy as a means of sustaining his livelihood through halal means.
"After failing to secure employment elsewhere, I made the choice to carry on our family trade. It is a way for me to contribute to our household income," Mohammad Umar explained.
Acknowledging the decline of this traditional craft, Mohammad Umar highlighted the support they receive from the local handicraft department, which enables them to continue practising and promoting glazed pottery. The department often requests their participation in exhibitions and, more recently, asked them to provide their products for display at various locations during the G20 summit.
Taking advantage of this prestigious opportunity, the Kumar family has meticulously painted the G20 logos on their pottery items, hopeful that this will enhance their market appeal.
Mohammad Umar expressed his optimism, stating, "We believe this event will generate increased demand for our products. Our products are competitively priced compared to those from other states, but unfortunately, they have yet to gain significant traction in the market."
While modern pottery-making machines are available, the Kumar family has struggled to acquire one. Mohammad Umar and his family have appealed to the relevant authorities to support them in obtaining a machine, emphasizing the need to preserve this fading art form.
The Kumar family's participation in the G20 summit is not only an opportunity for them to showcase their exquisite glazed pottery, but it also signifies their determination to keep this cherished craft alive. Their journey serves as an inspiration to the youth, highlighting the importance of preserving traditional trades and finding alternative paths to economic stability in the face of challenging circumstances.