Kashmiri artisans thank PM Modi for promoting paper machie in US

Srinagar, Jun 22 (PTI) Paper machie artisans in Kashmir are elated that one of their products — the exquisite box holding the diamond gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to US First Lady Jill Biden — has graced the White House.

**EDS: VIDEO GRAB** Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifts a 7.5-carat lab-grown diamond placed in a papier mache box from Kashmir, known as ‘kar-e-kalamdani’ to US First Lady Jill Biden as President Joe Biden looks on during a private dinner at the White House, in Washington, USA, Wednesday, June 21, 2023. (PTI Photo)(PTI06_22_2023_000134B)

Modi gifted an eco-friendly lab-grown 7.5 carat diamond, placed in Kashmir’s exquisite papier machie box, to Jill Biden.

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted the prime minister for an intimate dinner at the White House on Wednesday, during which they discussed a range of issues, exchanged gifts and enjoyed a musical tribute to the regions of India.

Tassaduq Hussain, an artisan, said he was happy that the Kashmiri paper machie box has reached the home of Bidens.

“Paper machie artists are very happy that the paper machie product reached to Mrs Jill Biden as it will raise demand of this artifact. It will benifit us,” Hussain told PTI.

He said this type of promotion will create more avenues for the artisans.

“Today, it has been recognised at international level. Those who did not know about paper machie art will now come to know about it,” he added.

Syed Amjid Shah, who owns a paper machie unit in the old city area here, said it was a moment of pride when the prime minister gifted the box to his hosts in the White House.

“Paper machie boxes are exported to many countries. These boxes are used as gifts also and today it is a pride moment for us that PM Modi gifted the first lady of America a diamond which was contained in a paper machie box. We are very fortunate that our art was promoted at this level,” Shah said.

Bashir Ahmed, another artisan, said it was for the first time that paper machie has been promoted at such a level.

“PM Modi promoted this art, which has sent a wave of joy among artisans. This was the first time that the paper machie product was promoted at this level. We hope in future also that such dignitaries of India will also help us to promote this art, which will benefit Kashmiri artisans,” he said.

Director, Department of Handicrafts, Mahmood Shah said Prime Minister Modi has been consistently promoting Kashmiri handicrafts, be it ‘Kani’ shawl or ‘Sozni’ pashmina, through his attire.

“Last year he also gifted pashmina shawl in a paper machie box to the PM of Sweden and today we got this news that the PM has gifted souvenir to madam Biden in a paper machie box,” Shah said.

He said it was an acknowledgement of the fact that Kashmiri handicrafts promoted by the prime minister brings global recognition.

“We wish that such things are repeated in future as well,” he added.