The Himalayan Abstract Artist and Pashmina Activist, and now one of the most credible voices in Asia on Pashmina Goats and the Pashmina Industry, Babar Afzal called on the President of India Shri. Pranab Mukharjee to discuss the three point program for the Global Pashmina Goat Project and present the painting dedicated to the Pashmina Goats and sensitize the president on the challenges faced by the Pashmina Industry Eco-System.
Babar stated that erratic climatic conditions and snow has been killing Pashmina Goats in the Indian Himalayas from the past several years, threatening supplies of silky cashmere wool used to make high-end scarves. Thousands of nomads rear the goats in the inhospitable terrain of Ladakh, a high-altitude desert renowned for its dramatic landscape of towering mountains and arid plains. From past few years, goats were starved to death in the Changthan region because their fodder was buried under unusually heavy snow. In order to sensitize and launch a global initiative to protect the entire Pashmina Eco-System (that includes the Pashmina Goat, the Shepherds, the Communities and their Families which are dependent on the raring of this goat, the Yarn Weavers, the Manufacturers, the Craftsmen and the Buyers), Babar Afzal, The Himalayan Abstract Artist & Social Entrepreneur has been hosting Art exhibitions, press conferences, talks and personal interactions with the stake holders in an attempt to sensitize viewers towards the specie and ensure that a larger community participates and celebrates this magnificent specie, The Pashmina Goat.
Babar has been working from past several years on the three point program for enhancing the Pashmina Eco-system which includes: 1. Preservation of the Pashmina Goat 2. Creation of Awareness about the Fake Pashmina which is destroying the Real Pashmina Industry and 3.Creation of a retail fair trade platform for Pashmina Industry that would represent over 3,00,000 strong community of shepherds, weavers and craftsmen linked with the Pashmina Eco-System. Babar explained that he has been working on this cause for the past several years and has put together a ful-fledged program that has the “Care for Pashmina Goat Campaign”, “Pashmina Fair Trade Expositions”, “Pashmina Luxury Expositions” and “Pashmina Testing Service for Purity” coming up. It would help everyone who is linked with Pashmina (as a shepherd who rare the goat, as a weaver who weaves pashmina on the loom, on the craftsmen who make intricate embroideries on the fabric, the shops, stores and brands who sell pashmina and the buyer who buys this precious piece as a life possession. He is working with the Pashmina Industry Stakeholders and is in process of launching the Pashmina Testing Service, where anyone can get their Pashmina Shawls/Stoles tested for their purity and authenticity. He is working on putting “Pashmina FAIR TRADE Expositions” for Pashmina and also “Care for Pashmina Goat” Initiatives together and will launch the website soon where everyone who is linked with Pashmina Eco-System can participate and ensure that the entire pashmina eco-system is enhanced.
Shri. Pranab Mukharjee was deeply moved and became concerned about the plight of the Eco-system which includes the shepherds, the weavers, the craftsmen and many of the community members who are getting displaced because of the challenges faced by the industry eco-system. Babar presented a painting titled “The Heart” to Shri. Pranab Mukharjee which was especially made by him on Pashmina Fibre. The painting depicts the Heart in the Center with the Peacock and the Taj Mahal in it and the image of the pashmina goat on one side. He stated that though this painting he makes an attempt to get the deserved position for the Pashmina Goats. In the painting there is a depiction where the Pashmina Goat wants to be the heart of the country and deserves the same importance as given to the Peacock and the Taj Mahal, as it is this Magnificent specie on which the livelihood of millions is dependent across Himalayas, India and the world. The president congratulated him on his initiative and the depth of though and work and extended his support to the initiative.