Save Hand-Made Ajrak, Save Sindh’s Cultural Industry
By Aziz Kachailo
Ajrak is an easily available Chaddar/Shawl now days in Sindh, Punjab and other areas of Pakistan and India in many colors, designs, sizes and quality of cloth. The Ajrak has earned fame on one hand but its large scale manufacturing including cloth and printing is done using the modern technology that also includes screen printing, which directly has affected the traditional industry rendering more than 50000 workers jobless in both countries that used to produce hand-made Ajraks of high quality. Now an Ajrak is easily available in range of Rs.200 to 1000.
It looks the government has no plans to save the cultural industry of Sindh, as the concerned authorities have not yet announced any policy and package for thousands of Ajrak industry-related workers.
Sindh Government should pay immediate attention to revival of this cultural industry, as it will not only turn as source of revenue for the government but will help lower the unemployment rate in the province, as more and more people can join this profession of Ajrak-making.
In case the government has no plans for revival of ancient cultural industry of Sindh, it should come forward on humanitarian grounds to provide an alternate business to large scale skilled people engaged to thousands of years old Ajrak Industry.
Also, the federal government and donor agencies should think for providing good alternate for a large number of workers related to Ajrak-making in Indus Valley.