SRINAGAR: Hands of Zahida Begum (name changed) are full these days.
A resident of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district, she has bagged several orders to stitch tricolour for Independence Day.
More than earning money, Zahida considers stitching tricolor as a national duty. “I feel proud today. It is my contribution to my nation. I feel as if I am also a soldier in civvies to serve my country,” she said.
This year there has been a huge demand for national flags. Trainees in the army’s tailoring and stitching centers are busy trying to complete the work order.
“This center was set up on March 17. There are 14 girl trainees in this center. From tailoring and stitching to fashion designing, the girls are trained in different crafts so that they can earn a livelihood. When Covid hit Kashmir, our girls stitched masks. With Independence Day just around the corner, we are now stitching national flags,” said Zahida.
On Independence Day, the national flag will be unfurled at every major government building, street, road, and square.
Earlier, 90 percent of national flags were being imported from Jammu and other places. This time, most of the flags are manufactured locally in Kashmir.
“National flags are being stitched in six to seven centers,” said Dr. Iqbal, who oversees the craft centers in the Kupwara district.
Rukhsana (name changed) has been working overtime to complete the work order. She has lost count of tricolors stitched so far. “I have stitched many flags. Work is still in progress,” she said.
Rehana Majid (name changed) cannot hide her emotions about being part of the nationalistic duty this independence day. “It is a proud moment for us. I really feel proud to be part of this country. Stitching the flag is nothing short of my nationalistic duty. It is my pleasure if I contribute in any way towards the nation-building,” she said.
In a run-up to Independence Day, tricolors have been unfurled at several iconic places across the valley. From Gupkar road to TRC to Partap Park, national flags fly high at iconic places in Srinagar. This is for the first time that national flags are being unfurled in the city center.