NAMDA-A TRADITIONAL CRAFT OF KASHMIR
Context: Arifa Jan from Kashmir was awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar for 2019, for establishing three manufacturing units to revive a Kashmiri traditional rug called ‘Namda’ besides employing 25 craft people and training 100 women in the Valley.
- Namda is a form of matting.
- It is also used as bed covers and mattresses.
- However, Namdas find most of their use in the form of traditional matting, spread on the floor to adorn homes.
- Namda making is a rare and unique craft wherein splendid floor pieces are made from wool by practice of felting the wool rather than weaving it.
- Namda derives its name from a man Nubi, who conceived the idea of felted carpets made in wool, hence the name Namda.
- Back in the 11thcentury, when Akbar held the throne, the King ran a proclamation demanding a warm coverage for his cold-bitten horse.
- Like most of the other crafts that stand at the very Kashmiri cultural base, the art of Namda making was brought to Kashmir by the Sufi saint, Shah- e- Hamdan, who came with the generous mission of bringing livelihood to the local Kashmiris.
- Namda making continues to form the livelihood of a significant percentage of the people of Kashmir even to this day.
NARI SHAKTI PURASKAR
- Nari Shakti Puraskarliterally meaning “Woman Power Award”, is India’s highest civilian award for recognising the achievements and contributions of women.
- The awards are given away by the President of Indiaevery year on 8 March, International Women’s Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
- The Nari Shakti Puraskar is conferred on individual women, public and private institutions and public departments for their activism and/ or their contributions to the cause of women’s empowerment.
- The award, instituted in the year 1999 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, is given in six institutional categories and two individual categories.
- The award carries a cash prize of rupees one lakh (INR100,000) and a citation.