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Meet Maqbool Jan Award-winning paper mache artist from Srinagar

Meet Maqbool Jan Award-winning paper mache artist from Srinagar

Like Music, paper mache must be introduced as subject at college, University level: Maqbool Jan

Srinagar, Apr 28: Winner of several State, National and International Awards Maqbool Jan, an artist from Srinagar’s Lal Bazar area continues to take papier-mâché technique and water colours to new heights and demands its introduction as subject education institutions.

Though there is no such school where the youth of Kashmir Valley are taught the art of papier-mâché, Jan has trained dozens of students so far who too are masters of this art now.

Mohammad Maqbool Jan (58) from Mughal Mohalla in Lal Bazar area of Srinagar while talking to news—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that he has been associated with this art since childhood as he had to learn this art very early due to the untimely death of his father.

"Our whole family is associated with this art and have been earning our livelihood very well besides that I have taught dozens of persons who too are taking art pieces on their own level," he said.

Hardwork always pays and we have been always working to promote this art, Maqbool said while adding that he has participated in various exhibitions and has consistently received excellent responses for his craft.

Maqbool said that his innovative and creative skills were rapidly recognized and he won several state awards.

He was awarded the prestigious UNESCO Seal of Excellence for handicrafts in 2007-2008 while he has won state award in 2013 and four National Awards.

"I want to see that our new generation should see their culture through art and we have to work to bring innovations in this art so that it gets more and more recognition at international stages," he said.

"As music has been introduced as a subject in educational institutions but the government is yet to introduce paper mache as a subject in educational institutions so that we can have local trainers but in absence of such things, we have to bring trainers from outside J&K," Jan said.

There is no such school where the youth of Kashmir Valley are taught this season, he said,while demanding that a curriculum be prepared by institutions in the Kashmir Valley to promote this art form, he said.

"We need to respect these arts as sufi saints introduced in Kashmir and have been passed on orally from one generation to the next and still there are dozens of artists who have been associated with this art," he said. "I want the papier-mâché art to reach our future generations, but given the paltry income an artist is able to generate it is difficult that youth will find interest in it."

He said that government must take steps to help artists so that art can be taught to next generations that will help them to earn livelihood and boost tourism sector as well—(KNO)

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