Arifa conferred ‘Nari Shakti’ Award via President

Srinagar, Mar 8:
Arifa Jan from Kashmir, who was conferred with ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ by
President Ram Nath Kovind in Delhi, is the founder of Namda Handicrafts and is
responsible for reviving the lost art.

She has trained
more than 100 women in Kashmir.

Namdha is a
traditional Kashmiri carpet, made by rolling and press wool by the application
of moisture. Untill some years, Kashmiri Numdhas were seen in every rooms.
There was once a local as well as national demand and the handicraft had a good
export market. The demand and export declined in the past more than a decade.

She has employed
25 Kashmiris and increased wages of her employees from Rs 175 to Rs 450.
Despite financial constraints and criticized for being a female entrepreneur,
she has actively promoted new designs of Numdhas.

After receiving
the award on the occasion of International Women’s Day, she said, “With support
from my father and husband, I have been able to fight the conservative society
and reach to this point.”

Arifa Jan,
braving all odds, accepted the challenge to revive the most famed handicraft
Numdha, which over the years has lost its prominence in Kashmir.

After completing
her bachelor’s degree in commerce from Kashmir University, Arifa’s friend who
had set up a Craft Development Institute (CD) encouraged her to pursue a
two-year, Craft Management and Entrepreneurial Leadership programme.

Due to financial
problems, Arifa could not afford to pay her fee. But after seeing her talent
and determination CDI aided a grant to her, which helped her to continue

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During Arifa’s
two-year training programme, she got an opportunity for specialised training in

At the end of the
training course, Arifa submitted the project of 50 pieces of beautiful
multi-colored traditional Numdhas which led her successful life.

Her new venture
was not so easy. At the beginning she faced troubles to continue her business.

However, Arifa’s
father wanted her to stop the business because as per him nobody in Kashmir
would ever marry her. “Even, her relatives did not spare and continued

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