On our quest to find the surviving himroo weavers, we met Abdul Hamid in 2018.
Hamid bhai, as we fondly call him, is the unit head of our Himroo Revival Project in Aurangabad. He was the only one among his 6 siblings who learnt the craft from his father. His father, the late Abdul Razzak,worked in a Himroo Karkhana run by the Quereshi family in Nawabpura, Aurangabad. A young Hamid, would go with his father to the kaarkhaana every day and initially worked as a drawboy on the jaala looms, eventually becoming one of their master weavers.
When the kaarkhana closed down due to competition from power-looms, Hamid bhai had to take up odd jobs to support his living. For 20 years, he worked as a carrier, did carpentry work and more recently drove a rickshaw. Like other weavers in Aurangabad he had given up on his dream to weave Himroo, until he was approached by LoomKatha. When we first met Hamid bhai he was reluctant to take up weaving again. After a lot of discussion with our founder Arushi he agreed to give Himroo weaving a chance. “Par mujhe bahut darr tha ki aapka project ek-do mahine se zyaada nahin chal payega,” he now recalls.
It's been two years since then and there's no looking back for him. The journey that started with repairing one defunct loom has now moved to training 3 women under him to weave. The rickshaw that he drove is now used to ferry these women weavers to the workshop. He is very proud about the fact that he has a steady income and is earning more than most in his family.
He is also very happy that he has been able to help out women of his neighbourhood. “Loom ki takhti pe baithna ek izzat ki takhti hai aur aaj unko voh izzat mili hai,” he says. With stars in his eyes as he talks about his new dream to train more women and make them ‘Atma Nirbhar’ in the true sense.
Know more about LoomKatha's Himroo Revival Project here