Kashmir’s traditional rice cleaner ‘Shupp’ finds no takers

Makers struggle to make both ends meet, say it’s difficult to survive

Kashmir's traditional rice cleaner Shupp making

SRINAGAR — The demand for traditional winnower, popularly known as ‘Shupp’, is on the decline due to which winnower makers are struggling to make two ends meet.

The winnower makers in Kashmir claimed that they are going through difficult times as they are finding it very difficult to sell their pieces.

Muhammad Ramzan Sheikh, a resident of Padgampora Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, said that he has been associated with this business for the last three decades but this is the most difficult time for them as no there are no customers for the items.

“Earlier, there was good demand for ‘Shupp’ but with advancement and new technologies, the demand for Kashmiri traditional winnower has declined and there is no demand for it anymore,” he said, adding that every year, they used to sell thousands of winnowers but now are making just a few pieces and have to go from village to village to sell these pieces.

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“A winnower maker was earning his livelihood very well as earlier winnowers were being used to separate grains from the husk, cleaning rice and other things but with new technologies in the market, machines have been doing this work and winnowers are hardly used anymore,” he said.

Kashmir's traditional rice winnower Shupp making

He said that at present, a winnower maker spends hundreds of rupees to make a ‘Shupp’ but there are hardly any takers.

Ab Rehman Sheikh, another winnower maker from Awantipora, said that he has spent days together in different villages to find customers but nobody is ready to take them as people hardly need winnower anywhere now.

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“We have even taken loans but due to a decline in demand, we are unable to pay loan installments,” they said while adding further that “earlier, we were earning our livelihood very well but now a person hardly earns Rs 100 on a daily basis on which making both ends meet is very difficult.”

He said that they have spent their entire life making ‘Shupp’ and can’t do anything else now which is why they are still associated with the business even as the same is dying slowly.

They said hundreds of households in Awantipora area were associated with winnower making but due to low demand, their number has reduced to just 20-25 now.

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