By Mushtaq Bhat
Shopian, Feb, 19, : Opportunities in life come rarely but when opportunity is provided by a government department, one needs to grab it at first instance and without hesitation.
The District Khadi Village and Industry Center, Shopian provides a number of such schemes to the people who are enthusiastic, dedicated and willing to set up their entrepreneur units or who want to promote handicraft products.
Gulzar Ahmad Lone, a resident of Khasipore in Shopian, availed the financial assistance from KVIB and stitched his efforts into a successful Embroidery craft which earned this artisan nickname “Embroidery Man”.
Gulzar Ahmed Lone, who adopted the art of embroidery at the early stage of life when he was hardly nine years old. He had acquired sharp and subtle skill in stitching over the years while his figure tips had received needle pricks leaving them bleeding.
As life kept moving and needs multiplied, he felt paucity of money to fulfill his own needs. During this phase of life, he deliberated over establishing own business in embroidery which he mastered due his hardwork and skill.
His pragmatic approach to own ideas led him to KVI, Shopian where he applied for financial assistance to start his business.
At KVI Shopian, Gulzar discussed his passion for embroidery with the officers, who guided him throughout the entire process with affection and provided him financial assistance of Rs four lakh at the first instance.
The Assistant Training Officer(ATO), Department of Khadi and Village Industries, Shopian, Muhammad Abdullah while speaking about Gulzar said that he is registered for the Artisans Credit Card and Wearers Scheme to take the benefits of schemes. He added that Gulzar was also well versed with the Embroidery work but needed financial assistance.
ATO said that as soon as we completed the inspection of his papers, and made sure that he knew the work, we immediately sanctioned the amount in his favor.
As his journey started with the basic step, he continued his work with sharp intellect and management besides timely guidance of the department. He purchased the raw materials like cloth and thread from the amount and established an embroidery center at his residence.
Gradually, his business witnessed growth and yearly turnover also increased manifold. Today, Gulzar is finishing a variety of embroidery products at his own center with the increasing demand.
According to his statement, Gulzar said that currently there is a huge demand for embroidered Saris, Suits, dupattas in Kashmir.
KVIB handholding made him take a huge leap towards prosperity. Now, he is preparing finished products for national and international customers too. In this regard, he said, “People from all over the world demand embroidered Saris, Suit Dupatta made in Kashmir, especially the ones with a work.” He added that tourists during their visit prefer embroidery products, which keeps this business flourishing.
As his ambit of business widened, he started developing new contacts outside the valley.
“Sometimes people contact me for supplying items for their shops at Delhi and other parts of India”, he said. While talking about his trusted customers, he said that a female Doctor from Jammu recently bought a sari from him that costs Rs 2.50 Lakh.
Some of his regular but wealthy customers even make special demands of Sari which is called “Farmaishi Sari”. “This type of Sari takes a huge time, sometimes a complete year or more, and effort to finish”, Gulzar said. “However, it also fetches good money”, he added.
He inspired many other individuals in the area who took up this business while watching Gulzar treading the path of economic success.
The proactive approach of lending helping hand and financial assistance by KVIB increased the number of individuals joining embroidery pursuit.
Today there are a number of other persons directly dependent on him. To extend his business activity, KVIB is sponsoring him while J&K Bank has also granted him a loan for the same purpose.
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