ABDUL RASHID and FIRDAUS AHMED
LOCATION: Lal Bazar, Srinagar
PROFILE: Abdul and Firdaus grew up in the small lanes of a poor neighborhood in Lal Chowk, a crowded suburb in the heart of Srinagar. A poor childhood did not prevent the passing on of a rich art from fathers to sons. Abdul acquired a basic education upto grade 8 and Firdaus carried on till grade 11. By then in their late teens, they had also been given the “taleem” (knowledge) of embroidery in a technique called “Ariwork”.
This skill empowered them to support themselves and today they are fully fledged karigars. Abdul has a daughter who is school going and the income from his work supports the family. Firdaus has two sons but neither of them wants to pursue this ancestral way of livelihood because they understood the bleak life in store for them, were they to step into his shoes.