Sales of kangri in IOK have almost doubled this winter

Srinagar, January 22, 2018 (PPI-OT):In occupied Kashmir, with electricity supply erratic this winter, kangri – the traditional earthen firepot woven in wicker has emerged as useful means to fight subzero temperatures. Sales of kangri have almost doubled this winter compared to last year, people associated with this trade claimed and attributed it mainly to the erratic power supply.

The capping of subsidised LPG cylinders per household over the years and soaring prices of wood were listed as other factors that have forced the people to revert to use of kangris to keep themselves warm during winter.

“The sale of kangris was dipping every year over the past decade due to introduction of modern gadgets like heaters that used electricity, kerosene or LPG as fuel. However, as these fuels are not available readily now, people have started buying kangris again,” Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Charar-e-Sharief who sells kangris, told media men.

Many areas of Kashmir, including Srinagar, face electricity outages ranging between six and 12 hours every day while only 12 subsidised LPG cylinders are provided to each household every year. “I used to sell 10 to 15 kangris every day at the start of the winter season, which was definitely not enough to make a proper living. However, the sales this year improved and I sell anywhere between 20 and 25 kangris each day.” An average kangri costs between Rs 150 and Rs 200 but the price of a good quality firepot ranges from Rs 300 to Rs 500.

The 65-year-old artisan spends summer buying the raw material for kangris and makes them during autumn months so that his merchandise is ready for sale at the onset of winter. The increase in sale has rekindled his hope that the art of making kangri, unique to Kashmir, can be preserved and passed to the next generation.

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