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At 66, Padma Shri awardee aims to preserve Kashmir’s ancient art

Kashmiri art dying, govt must take steps to revive Handicraft: Gh Rasool Khan

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Jan 29: A 66-year-old artist from Srinagar district has won the prestigious Padma Shri award, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his exemplary contribution to the Kashmiri Handicraft.

Haji Gh Rasool Khan, a resident of Rehmania Colony in Jogiwan Amda Kadal, who is also chairman of All J&K Shilp Guru National Award and Artisans Society has so far won many prestigious awards for his art work.

While talking exclusively on phone from Delhi to the news agency—KNO, Khan said that he has been associated with handicrafts since his childhood as his ancestors were also earning livelihood by remaining associated with the same art.

In 1998, Khan met with an accident in Delhi and his movement remained confined in a room for years. During that time he spent more time on Pashmina work.

“Handicraft is a work of patience and most people lack that patience,” he said.

Khan said for 5 years, he worked on a 64 piece shawl along with his men who were learning the art from him.

“After showing this piece to foreign designers through the handicraft department they recommended my name for state as well as for national award,” Khan said, adding that he got both the awards in 2003.

After 5 years, Khan was selected for the Shilip Guru national award for Pashmina art work.

“Later I made a 360 piece shawl in six years and received several awards,” he said.

Khan said that he is very happy for getting the Padma Shri Award as it is the recognition of his work. However, he said, Kashmir craft art is dying and the government must take steps at an earliest to save it.

“Lot of things have to be done to keep the art alive. And I want to remain healthy to do so. Craft art is unique. It is a gift of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani (RA) to us, the coming generation should also think about keeping it alive,” he said.

Khan said he has taught the handicraft art to over 500 people, however, the government must also come forward to save the art.

“There is a need to open institutions where master craft will be taught to aspiring people. There is a need to open showrooms at important markets of India where customers can purchase products directly,” he said. “There is also a need to organize programmes at different stages to educate people about Kashmiri art work and how it is different from others, so that shawls from other states or countries can’t be sold on the name of Kashmiri Shawl.”

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‘Militant associate’ arrested in Kupwara; 10 grenades, 182 bullets recovered

(Asian News Hub) – Army and police have recovered ten grenades and 182 rounds of Ak-47 rifle from a militant associate who was arrested in Kralpora area in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, official sources said on Tuesday.

They said army 160 Territorial Army and SOG Kralpora arrested the “militant associate” Abdul Ahad Lone based on specific information. “10 grenades and 182 Ak-47 rounds” have been recovered from his possession.They said middle-aged man was associated with Al-Badr formerly.

A police officer confirmed the arrest and said that further investigations are underway.

GNS

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Three unidentified militants killed in Anantnag

(Asian News Hub) – Three unidentified militants have been killed in an encounter that raged between government forces and militants in Vailoo area of Kokernag belt in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday.

A senior police officer told that three unidentified militants have been killed whose identification is being ascertained while as operation is on in the area.

He said the militants turned down repeated surrender offers given to them by government forces.

Earlier, an official said that a joint team of Police, Army’s 19 RR and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on specific information about the presence of militants in the area.

He said that as the joint team of forces approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them, which was retaliated, triggering an encounter.

Pertinently, 46 militants have been killed in J&K so far this year and most of them belong to Shopian district.

KNO

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Militant killed in an ongoing encounter at Anantnag

(Asian News Hub) – One militant has been killed in an ongoing encounter that raged between government forces and militants in Vailoo area of Kokernag belt in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday.

A senior police officer told that one militant has been killed whose identification is being ascertained while as operation is on in the area.

Earlier, an official said that a joint team of Police, Army’s 19 RR and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on specific information about the presence of militants in the area.

He said that as the joint team of forces approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them, which was retaliated, triggering an encounter.

Pertinently, 44 militants have been killed in J&K so far this year and most of them belong to Shopian district.

KNO

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