Srinagar, The trend of using earthen vessels for eating food is gaining momentum again in Kashmir in spite of the availability of modern beautiful and attractive designed copper, silver and other utensils for daily use.
Potters believe eating in earthen vessels has many medicinal benefits and even they claim some doctors suggest the use of earthen vessels to patients mostly suffering from Gastro problems.
Mushataq Ahmad who is selling the earthen vessels near the famous Sufi saints shrine Sheikh Noor-u-Din Wali at Charar-e-Sharief in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district said that although selling earthen pots was on the decline, it has got momentum again during the past over two years with its increasing sales and demand among the users.
He said pottery makers are present in every nook and cranny of the valley and they continue to uphold the profession of their forefathers even in the present age of science and technology.
Mushtaq said that the craft of pottery is not only a source of livelihood for the artisans but also an important part of Kashmir’s rich culture.
Mushtaq, who has been selling earthen pots for the past 35 years in Char-e-sharief market, said the pottery vessels business is growing with every passing day.
However, he said that the number of potters is on the decline as the new generation is not ready to continue their forefather’s profession and turn to other jobs for livelihood.
“This work is progressing day by day, people are once again using earthenware, especially for eating and drinking”, Mushatq claimed and added that “even Doctors advise people, especially patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders, to use clay pots, which is why the demand for these pots is increasing”.
He said actually, during the Corona epidemic, there was an increase in the trend of using earthenware and then this trend continued to increase day by day.
He said that artisans also now produce colorful and glazing pots with other different designs according to the new requirements. He said that there are now such beautiful things in the market that the buyer cannot move without purchasing them.
He said that now earthen pots are not only used for eating and drinking, but also earthen musical instruments and other interesting and impressive items are also available in the markets, which people buy to decorate their homes.
The shopkeeper said, the number of potters is decreasing as the new generation is not inclined towards it but they prefer to take up other professions.
He said: “I used to buy pottery from a craftsman who was the last craftsman in his family because his children are earning their living by doing other jobs”.
When asked how the business of selling pottery is going, he said: “It is a good business and I am happily looking after my family and I see a bright future of this age-old craft business”.
Mushtaq said that during the peak marriage season in the Kashmir Valley, he gets good orders from the buyers besides buyers reach to him from other parts for purchasing earthen items.
He said that most people like to buy coloUred parts while there are some customers who choose to buy unpainted items.
He said that the increase in the demand for pottery items is a welcome sign as there are people whose livelihood is still dependent on this business.
Mushtaq said that in some areas, the government has also provided subsidized loans to potters so that they can strengthen their profession.
He said that this craft is a part of our civilization and every Kashmiri has to play his own role to keep it alive.