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- Kareena, Sara, Jhanvi made chicken work popular, artisans don’t get the right price
An hour agoWriter: Marzia Jaffer
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The chikankari dress of Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter, Suhana Khan, came to light because designer Manish Malhotra designed a chikankari lehenga for her instead of kurtis and saris. Suhana’s gorgeous look with white lehenga and chikan work choli became a fashion trend. Fans even wrote comments like “Husn Hai Suhana” on Suhana Khan’s photos and this hashtag also became very popular.
Chicken work is the new fashion trend
This embroidery has become an important part of fashion. While celebrities are seen dressed in chikan work dresses at fashion shows, designers are also trying to experiment a lot with this embroidery. Along with the normal chikankari dresses, fashionable dresses like dresses and lehengas are also being prepared.
Chikankari is Lucknow’s pride, but the artisans are upset.
Artisans don’t get the right price
As the fashion for chicken work is becoming popular, the artisans who prepare it do not get the same benefit. Craftsmen say it is difficult to survive even after working so hard on embroidery. We get a maximum of 300 rupees even for the finest work done in the kurta, while traders gamble in millions. ‘Shahr-e-Adab’ Lucknow’s Chikankari is famous not only in India but all over the world. People who come here don’t forget to wear a sari or chicken embroidery dress. Chikankari is the pride here, but the artisans are upset.
Many generations used to embroider
Rizwana Sheikh, a resident of Hussainabad, Lucknow, has been doing chikankari work for the past 20-22 years. Many generations of Rizwana have been doing this work. He says that despite working hard day and night, we don’t get the benefit. The dresses made by me are sold in the market at twice the price. Now the situation has gotten even worse. Light shade embroidery should be done for 50-100 rupees. There are 250-300 rupees available for luxury jobs. Inflation is steadily rising, but money for chicken work is not rising.
He has been embroidering chicken for 22 years.
the light of the eyes on the left
When Rihanna, who lives on Temple Road, Lucknow, told me, seeing my chikan work kurta, she asked me how much she had bought me this kurta. When I told him that I had given 2500 thousand rupees for this kurta, he was surprised. She started to see my face. He said he only receives between 100 and 150 rupees for this embroidery. He has been doing this job for 22 years and now his eyesight has left him.
They pay you for your hard work.
very little money to work hard
Rubina, sitting next to him, says that it takes 8 days to make a 5-meter sari, because a very fine embroidery has to be done. Rubina says she receives up to 1500 rupees for fine embroidery of five-and-a-half-meter dresses including dupatta. According to Arabina, the amount of hard work he does for this, according to him, this money is much less. For chicken embroidery, there are different designs and prices available depending on the embroidery.
The most expensive Jali embroidery
Jattice embroidery on fabric is the hardest and this embroidery is the most expensive. But now after doing this embroidery on the mesh fabric, we apply a patch to the fabric.
use of material
Most raw yarns are used for chikankari, but the yarn also varies depending on the fabric. Like the georgette, the silk fabric is embroidered with silk thread, but the raw cotton thread is considered special for chikankari.
Social media became a support system in confinement
Manufacturer Rajat Seth says Chikankari is a systematic business. It does not work by installing a factory. This work is done by domestic women through intermediaries. Only 99% of women in and around Lucknow participate in chikankari work.
Inflation continues to rise. The price of the raw material has increased by 30%. We supply products to Gulf countries, Australia and Africa, says Rajat, but through some other exporter. During the confinement, where the business stopped, instead, a large system of support for the social media business was created. Those who came through WhatsApp, Facebook, these people have brought the identity of the chicken work locally.
What is ODOP?
The ODOP program was started by the Uttar Pradesh government in 2018. Its goal is to promote the One District One product. Uttar Pradesh handicrafts and products that are not made anywhere else in the country should be encouraged.
The demand of artisans, these centers must be done where there is work and also adequate remuneration.
Problems of Chicken Work Artisans
There is a demand from artisans that a better plan should be made for them and that such centers be made where there is permanent work and also adequate remuneration. Speaking of chikankari, women are more involved in handicraft work, where only the work of sewing, embroidery and printing kurtas design is in the hands of men. Lucknow is the bastion of Chikankari embroidery in Uttar Pradesh. Because chikankari was limited to the unorganized sector from the beginning, there was room for exploitation from the beginning. Despite this, this art was not over.
The livelihood of five thousand people is also in danger.
China’s eyes on Lucknow’s Chikankari
A study by a leading industrial organization in India revealed that China is doing chikankari machine embroidery, which endangers traditional original embroidery. According to the study, the livelihood of about five thousand people is also at risk due to clothing made in China. In China, this embroidery is done by machine, which requires less time and cost. As a result, this beautiful Lucknow art is in jeopardy.
Chicken came to Lucknow during the era of Noor Jahan
Chicken embroidery came to India during the reign of the wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, Nur Jahan. It is said that a cousin of Nur Jahan settled in Awadh and taught this work to a few women. “Chicken” comes from the Turkish word chicken. Chik means mesh, through which light and air can pass. The embroidery was delicate, beautiful to look at, so whoever saw it sat down to learn. This hobby of yesterday is the livelihood of thousands today. The history of Chikankari is over two hundred years old.