Embroidery artisans of Lucknow toil for survival

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Lucknow, July 6 (ANI): Embroidery artisans of Lucknow, known for their world famous embroidery work of Zardozi and Chikankari are facing a hard time and struggling to manage their two square meal.

The enchanting creations by these ace artisans are known by two names Zardozi and Chikankari.

Both these meticulous arts were extensively patronised by the Nawabs of Awadh. So much so, Zardozi -embroidery work done with golden and silver strands known as Zari- and Chikankari -thread embroidery, lent Lucknow universal prominence.

"In 1953, when the price of wheat was as low as one rupee for three to four kilograms. Those days through this embroidery work, artisans earned Rs 3.25 a day and managed to have their square meal in less than a rupee. There used to be so much saving of money in this work but now situation has become quite disturbed," said Naseer Ali, an elderly Chikankari artisan.

Hundreds of ace Zari and Chikan artisans, who are still engaged in the embroidery industry of Lucknow, lament over their plight.

They say the cost of living vis-…-vis the earlier times has increased manifold while the earnings are insufficient these days.

Incidentally, both Zardozi and Chikankari have been traditional family vocations, passed on from generation to generation.

Roshan Mirza, a Zardozi worker, highlighted that these days after toiling hard for nearly 10-12 hours, an artisan earns daily wages of a meager Rs. 100.

"Government has never put up any factories for such embroidery work and so if someone wants to shift from embroidery to some other work, there would be no options for them. If embroidery units had been there, then the artisans would have left their jobs of Rs. 100 earned for ten hours of labour," said Mirza. (ANI)

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