A Polio survivor. A disease that left him handicapped for life. Nonetheless, his disability couldn’t stop him from pursuing his passion. The story of Mohammad Yousuf Mir, an 80-year-old veteran who hails from Karfalli Mohalla, Habba Kadal. Widely known for his art in ‘Phireenj’ – a form of Kashmiri handicrafts seen on embroidered shawls, bedcovers, curtains etc.
“I’ve been working since I was ten. At that time there were no machine works in Kashmir. There used to be a great market and wages for handicrafts”
“Workers were proud of their profession as there was an elite platform available for ‘Phireenj’. Business was prosperous. Most of the trade was regulated by exportations to international markets like England, France, Germany. But since the embroidery machines got introduced, it generally replaced handwork, as a consequence craftsmanship has died. These days I hardly earn a livelihood”
Despite many health issues and low remuneration, he never gave up on his art as he finds divinity and peace in it.