Kashmir’s Only Woman ‘Bat-Maker’ Dreams Of Seeing Indian Cricket Team Playing With Her Bats
- IWB Post
- November 5, 2018
PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s bus journey to Pakistann in 1999 acted as a harbinger of good times in Kashmir. It restored hope in the region, reconnected it to the rest of the nation, and renewed the country’s interest in Kashmiri product, the willow products products being one of them.
It was around this time that Rifat Masoodi, who was 21 years old then, decided to renew the bat business established by her father-in-law which undone by the escalation of the Kashmir insurgency in the 1980s which had drastically hit the economy in the region and saw many businesses fall apart.
The only woman manufacturer of the world famous Kashmiri willow bats today, Rifat got into the trade at a time when she had just married into a conservative family that didn’t approve of women doing anything beyond house work. However, she was lucky to receive absolute and unconditional support from her husband Showkat Masoodi who helped her realise her dreams.
Rifat’s business today spreads across Pampore, Anantnag and Srinagar and, as she shares, has a has a small but loyal customer base. The 40-year-old keeps receiving requests from customers to use stickers of the brands like Reebok etc. like other bat makers do. She however, refuses to do so and the stickers of Masoodi Arts and Sports (MAS) are the only ones that you’ll find on her bats. Her dream is to see Indian cricket team playing with the bats manufactured by her company.
H/T: The Better India