Makers struggle to make both ends meet, say it’s difficult to survive
The demand for traditional Winnower popularly known as ‘Shupp’ is on decline due to which winnower makers are struggling to make two ends meet.
The Winnower makers in Kashmir claimed that they are going through difficult times as they are finding it very difficult to sell their pieces.
Muhammad Ramzan Sheikh, a resident of Padgampora Awantipora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district said that he has been associated with this art since the last three decades but this is the most difficult time for them as no there are no customers for the items.
Earlier, there was good demand for the shupp but with advancement and new technologies, the demand for Kashmiri traditional shupp has declined and there is no demand for it any more, he said.
“Every year we used to sell thousands of winnowers but we are making just a few pieces and have to go from village to village to sell these pieces,” he said. “A winnower maker was earning his livelihood very well as earlier winnowers were being used to separate grains from husk, cleaning rice and other things but with new technologies in market, machines have been doing this work and winnowers are hardly used anymore,” he said.
He said that at present a winnower maker spends hundreds of rupees to make a Shupp but there are hardly any takers.
Ab Rehman Sheikh, another winnower maker from Awantipora, said that he has spent days together in different villages to find customers but nobody is ready to take them as people hardly need winnower anywhere now.
“We have even taken loans but due to decline in demand, we are unable to pay loan installments,” they said. “Earlier, we were earning our livelihood very well but now a person hardly earns Rs 100 on daily basis on which making both ends meet is very difficult.”
He said that they have spent their entire life while making shupp and can’t do anything else now that is why they are still associated with the art even as the art is dying slowly.
They said hundreds of households in Awantipora area were associated with winnower making but due to low demand, there number has reduced to just 20-25 now—(KNO)