Srinagar, India, July 26, 2019 —
A textile engineer from Jammu & Kashmir’s Baramulla district has developed an Electric Charkha (E-Charkha), a redesigned version of the traditional Charkha (spinning wheel). Developed by Farooq Ahmad Malik from Sopore, the E-Charkha is feasible and convenient for spinning of Pashmina yarn & the results in terms of production and quality of yarn are pretty good when compared to spinning on a traditional Charkha.
“After months of research, I have developed this E-Charkha. The idea struck me after I thought of spinners especially women who are involved in spinning of Pashmina on traditional Charkha. They are being paid a very meagre amount as spinning charges i.e, they hardly earn Rs. 30-40 per day on a traditional Charkha,” Farooq Ahmad says.
He adds, “E-Charkha can be used by Pashmina spinners for quality hand-spun Pashmina yarn with minimum effort so as to earn maximum wages.”
Farooq has come out with this innovative spinning wheel for ‘protection and sustainability of Charkha and related crafts’ as insufficient earnings have forced womenfolk to give up.
“I started working on this E-Charkha in December 2018 and managed to develop it by using different parts which are easily available in the market,” he says.
Farooq says that the core idea was to think of an alternative so that people related to hand spinning do not lose their livelihood to big factories where machines are employed.
“My innovation had four basic purposes including sustainable livelihood for Pashmina hand spinners, enhancing their wage earnings, producing a better quality of hand-spun Pashmina yarn and increasing their production efficiency. I reckon, E-Charkha will take care of all these objectives,” he says.
In future, Farooq plans to modify the E-Charkha so that it will also have the option for ‘automatic twisting’. He is currently looking for funds to scale up by collaborating with non-profit organizations.
Pertinently, Farooq is presently working in J&K State Handloom Development Corporation Limited as Project Manager (HQ). He has done B.Sc with Textile Engineering from IIHTT Varanasi UP. He is also a member of Textile Institute of Manchester London and has a fellowship from Textile Association of India.