Pencil production in India: Till now, the Pulwama district of South Kashmir, which have come to the limelight only as militant related incident, have not only become strongholds of employment, but their wires have been connected across the country. This time these wires are not in any negative sense but in the context of trade with Kashmir.
When young children across the country hold pencils at the age of learning to read, they have an unknown relationship with this village of Pulwama district of Kashmir.
How Pulwama become ‘Pencil District of India’
Oukhoo village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama supplies around 90 percent wood to be done across the country.
Pulwama is emerging positively for the first time on the map of the country due to this village which has become an important stronghold for the production of pencils and slates.
Manzoor Ahmed, the owner of a factory, that companies which used to import timber from Germany and China, are now doing Oukhoo. Due to this, employment opportunities are increasing here.
New identity to Pulwama
Many people are dreaming of making slates in this village and every house in Pulwama. Efforts are being made at the government level to provide this new identity to Pulwama and there is increasing demand for the production of pencils in Kashmir.
In the midst of all this, there are some important and interesting aspects of this story, you should know how it is possible and how much and how much wood that this village is providing for pencils.
The wood with which a pencil of good quality can be made, the tree with which it is found, is a poplar tree in abundance and special variety in Pulwama district of Kashmir. This tree found in moist areas of Pulwama is a variety of poplar. Here dozens of small units are engaged in the business of providing this wood to the pencil industry.
Regarding this tree, HT reports quoting Abdul Rahim, the owner of a unit here, that the trees provide wood in proportion to the perfect ratio, as much as necessary to make a moisturizer in wood for making pencils. See how the production of this wood is being written in this Kashmiri district.
60% production in Kashmir
The largest industrial setup in Kashmir was developed in Lasipora on 300 hectares in 1984, officially stating that 60% of pencil production is done here. Around 250 units are working in the pencil production industry in this area surrounded by apple orchards.
These are the champions behind Natraj!
Yes, the raw material that is being supplied from these units is reaching the large pencil manufacturing companies of the country. According to HT’s report, Hindustan Pencils, which makes brands like Natraj and Apsara Pencil, is getting raw materials from here. This company is the world’s second largest pencil manufacturer.
Command is in the hands of women
In this unique industry of Kashmir, most of the women are doing this work. About 2000 people have got work in the district from this industry involving pencil and slate. In Oukhoo, women are working efficiently in small chhoti units in their homes. Earlier, only wood was given to pencil makers, but that wood is being made directly for use in pencil.
Now people belonging to all the big artisans and industries of Pulwama and Lasipora are expecting the government to develop here. To build industrial relations with the whole of India, firstly a highway is needed so that their goods do not get disrupted. This highway has been incomplete for a long time.
There is a constant need for electricity here and the government exemption is also being looked at in relation to tax, so that the backward industry can come into the mainstream. Many industries such as cold store, TMT, foam, leather, fabrication, milk production, which are generating thousands of jobs here, all gained momentum in 2006 when the erstwhile governments developed here as industrial hubs.