Preserving the Timeless Art of Kaleen Weaving

Sheikhzada Daniyal
4 Min Read

Mohammad Shafi Tinda, a 42-year-old artist from Srinagar, has dedicated over three decades to preserving the dying art of Kaleen (handmade carpet weaving). Tinda comes from a family that has been weaving carpets for the past 200 years, and he continues this tradition with unwavering passion.

Tinda learned the intricate craft of carpet weaving from his grandfather during his childhood. Over the years, he has taught hundreds of people the various stages of this craft and currently provides employment to dozens of weavers. In 2011, Tinda established a center where people could come to learn carpet weaving, and since then, hundreds have mastered the craft under his guidance.

An Inspirational Journey

Despite the challenges, Tinda remains steadfast in his mission to keep the art of Kaleen weaving alive. He finds immense joy and fulfillment in passing on this timeless tradition to the next generation. Tinda’s unwavering dedication and commitment to his craft are truly inspiring, serving as a testament to the power of perseverance and the preservation of cultural heritage.

An Appealing Call to Action

Tinda laments that a person can barely earn around Rs 100-150 per day despite working from dawn to dusk, which has driven many master artists to abandon the craft due to the low demand for handmade carpets. However, Tinda remains hopeful that Srinagar’s recent designation as a craft city will help revive the art form and restore its lost glory.

Tinda appeals to the government to support artists by purchasing their work and exporting it, which would help artists thrive and generate revenue for the government. He believes that unless the government takes steps to revive this art, the future of Kaleen weaving remains uncertain. By supporting these skilled artisans, we can ensure the preservation of this unique and captivating craft for generations to come. Meanwhile govt has taken several significant steps to promote the traditional art in Kashmir. The schemes also support the artisan to enhance its business in order to create vast employment opportunities. One of the schemes is discussed below.

Govt Schemes for Artisans of Kashmir

The Credit Card Scheme for Artisans & Weavers is a loan scheme by the Department of Handicraft & Handloom (Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir) under which adequate and timely assistance from the financial institutions is provided to the Artisans and Weavers to meet their credit requirements of both investment needs as well as working capital in a flexible and cost-effective manner. The scheme would be implemented both in rural and urban areas. All Artisans and Weavers who are duly registered with the Handicrafts and Handloom Department, J&K, and are involved in production and manufacturing processes (otherwise eligible for credit facilities for carrying out the proposed activities under any of the existing bank schemes) shall be eligible. The limit shall be valid for a period of five years subject to annual review by the competent authorities.

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