Srinagar: Kashmir’s papier mache products used to be in big demand, but artisan Syed Fida Hussain says it is now hard to find labourers that are willing to mash and mould paper.
Syed Fida Hussain is one of the rare artisans engaged in the craft of paper pulp at Abiyar Zadibal in the old Srinagar city. The pulp is what gives papier mache products all those fantastic shapes, details and dimensions.
“This paper has to be mashed first. We used to employ a labourer who would charge Rs. 800 to 900 per day. Now at a time when there is no demand for papier mache, we are finding it hard to get a labourer to do this,” Hussain told The Kashmir Monitor.
“This work of mashing paper is very tough. All labourers are not willing to do this tough job,” he added.
Hussain said his business had declined over the years.
“We used to earn a lot before but now we don’t understand what happened during the past five to 10 years. We would have such a high demand that all the articles would get sold in no time, but now as you can see, everything is lying here,” he said.
Though one can find Kashmiri businessmen that have a thriving papier mache business and even cater to high end clients, Hussain said the condition of artisans on ground was going from bad to worse.