Carpet weavers of Baghlan hit hard by lack of resources, market


PUL-E-KHUMRI (SW) – A number of carpet weavers in Pul-e-Khomri city, the center of Baghlan, say that lack of access to raw materials and carpet weaving machines has added to their economic problems.

Nik Bakht, a resident of Pul Khomri, who has been weaving carpets for more than 10 years, said that the limited access to raw materials has caused more economic troubles. “We have been carpet weavers since [the time of] migrating to Pakistan and since we came here some 10-11 years back. We don’t have a workplace or equipment, we can’t buy materials and weave carpets and take them to the market to sell them so that the money [and earnings] will increase so that our children’s pain can be cured and our children can be fed.”

Farishta, a lady in Baghlan who has been weaving carpets in her home for two years, said that not having the tools of her own has caused her to never be self-sufficient.

“There are five of us here, we have been weaving carpets for almost two years. First, we want a personal workshop to stand on our own feet and do our work easily. People get into many problems by weaving carpets. For example, there is a shortage of materials, there is no repair, there are many problems, and the customers try to find a fault in the carpet we weave and reduce our money.”

Meanwhile, Mohammad Arif, the head of Baghlan carpet weavers’ union, confirming the problems of carpet weavers in this province, asks the local officials of the Islamic Emirate to develop the market of women’s handicrafts.

“Our demand from the government is that handicrafts should be developed. 80% of women work in carpet weaving. There is a family in which there are five women and one of them [a man] is a worker who works as a farmer and cannot make a living by farming. It is carpet weaving that people work with dignity and honor in their homes”.

According to the statistics of the Baghlan Carpet Weavers Union, nearly two thousand families are engaged in carpet weaving in the city of Pul-e-Khomri.