Wicker stick business witness low demand; affects Kangri sale

Srinagar, Nov 12:With the onset of the winter season in Jammu and Kashmir, the people associated with the wicker stick business that are usually used for making Kangris, are witnessing a downfall.

Kangri (fire-port) are the most vital heating gadgets used in the Kashmir valley during the winter season that witnesses a high demand throughout the cold season with people relying on it mainly.

The process mainly starts with the peeling of wicker sticks that caters to the basics of Kangri making which has a section of people still intact with the business.

People associated with the sector while talking with the news agency stated that the demand has come down gradually with time as electronic gadgets have replaced the traditional Kangri in Kashmir valley.

Javaid Ahmad, one of the wicker peeling labourers from the Shalbug area in the Ganderbal district said that the demand has come down highly in the last couple of years as they are not able to meet the demands.

“We have been associated with this business for the past many decades and everyone works as laborers, even children have also been involved in the business for a long time now,” he said.

Javaid said that these sticks are not only used to make traditional Kangri’s, rather many other things like buckets and tubs are also made of them.

“The business is witnessing a huge decline while this whole process takes a lot of effort. I have been in this business for the last 40 years now”, he said. “Almost everyone working here has their family members involved in this but both sale and demand has reduced which has affected the people associated with it”.

Ali Muhammad Ganie, one of the residents of Kupwara associated with the business said that the sector is fading away with time as the demand from the consumers has lowered and there are very few takers for the wicker sticks now.

“Compared to the figures from a couple of years ago, there is a huge margin of decline in the sale and demand. People have now moved to electronic gadgets rather than relying on traditional things like Kangri which was a premier heating gadget,” Ganie said.

People associated with the business said that the authorities must initiate some concrete steps to save this sector from fading permanently.

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