Luhar Janmamad Salemamad

The soft tinkle grew into a loud rhythm. The wind blew in through window, the bells danced. The familiarity and nostalgia of the rhythm filled my heart. It was the same. My grandfather, father and now, I. We belonged to the Luhar community, a community that traditionally made bells for cattle. The craft was said to have originated in Sindh and now finds home in Kutch as well. As time went by, bell making took a different course; the home market saw very little demand. As a child I saw my father and many others reach out to vast audiences to sell their work. I saw how hard it was. My brothers and I carried forward the craft. By the time I was eighteen, I saw myself working full time.

With the years that followed I went after many government and private organizations. I now make sure our community gets help. Helping the other artisans as well, I get invitations to government funded exhibitions. I want to make sure everyone has access to government schemes. I started a cooperative too, the Shree Zura Luharikam Audyogic Sahkari Mandali Limited. We are registered today with 55 artisans.

Apart from expanding the craft, I want the craftsmen to live a fairly happy life. Make a living from the craft that was handed down by our forefathers. I teach, I help, I reach out, I want to broaden our markets, I want to bring meaning to our craft.