Silver foil making artisans battle for survival amidst diminishing profits

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Jaipur, June 6 (ANI): The silver-foil making artisans of Jaipur are facing an unprecedented lean period and there seems to be no end in sight.

The famous 'Vark' makers of the Pink City have been registering poor collections because the price of their craftsmanship remains stagnant while that of its raw-material, silver, keeps fluctuating and has skyrocketed in the past few months.

"When the rate of silver goes high, then we face problems ...the wage decreases...because the rate of silver may go up whereas the labourers' wages are fixed and the income decreases," said Attah-Ullah Padal, owner of a silver foil making unit.

Silver prices in Jaipur almost touched rupees 30000 (640 US dollars) for a kilogram as compared to rupees 25000 (around 534 US dollars) over the past couple of months.

Ayurdvedic and Unani preparations also contain 'Vark' as it is believed that the silver possesses healing properties.

"There are many pharmaceutical companies such as Charak, Baidyanath, and other so many companies where the silver foil is used for medicinal purposes and foil from Jaipur is supplied to these companies," said Gulam Ali Khan, supplier.

The popular 'Vark' has its biggest consumer base in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The 2,500 'Vark' making artisans live in a colony named Pannighar first set up by Maharaja Jai Singh who ruled Jaipur around three centuries ago. (ANI)

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