The road that leads to Hari Nara village is not a road basically but a compilation of the choicest potholes and ditches.
Hari Nara village is located on a point that sort of demarcates north Kashmir’s Baramulla and Bandipora districts. Public transport is considered a luxury, leave aside having personal vehicles. There is no public transport and most of the houses are old fashioned.
Standardly, a village such as this would be like any other village across the country but Hari Nara has something uncommon. In this photo you see someone’s hard work and dream come true: Anwar Hussain’s ‘Khushboo Libbas’- a complete boutique which places on offer a blend of modern and traditional wear.
It is true that the stones chipped at the most make the most beautiful shapes and Anwar’s struggle began early too. He has to support his family when he was in school itself.
To support his family he used to work as a labourer and alongside he would dedicate his time to books as well.
“I wanted to complete my education at any cost,” said Anwar in an interview to U4UVoice.
After school he got admission in Gandhi Memorial College, Srinagar and completed graduation in arts stream in the year 2009.
Even during his college he used to work as typist at Sadder Court, Srinagar to manage the daily expenses.
The small jobs that barely help anyone’s pockets continued till 2015 when a friend of Anwar’s suggested that he starts his own entrepreneurial venture in Hari Nara.
Anwar’s first attempt at entrepreneurship was a furniture making unit but then decided to start a fashion boutique in Ghadkhud Hari Nara village of Sumbal, Bandipora.
Anwar took support from the Seed Capital Fund Scheme (SCFS) of Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) where he was trained for three weeks at Pampore campus.
It was after this three-week period that a Rs 8.57 lakh project to start ‘Khushboo Libbas’ was approved and the boutique was born in Anwar’s native place.
In no time, Anwar has been able to provide livelihood to five people four of which are local girls thus empowering women.
The girls earn around 7000-9000 rupees a month, something that depends on the number of suits the girls each can stitch in a day and the more they stitch, the more they can make.
Khushboo Libbas deals in bridal suits, suit length (fabric) for women, dupattas, abhayas, hosiery, jeans and T-shirts, leggings, hijabs (veils), coats, leather jackets, bags, handbags, purses, sunglasses and artificial jewellery. “I cater to the demand of local population. Now they don’t have to visit Baramulla, Pattan, Sumbal or Bandipora for these goods and services. I save their time and money as well,” said Anwar. He feels the demand especially for abhayas and embroidered traditional pherans is quite encouraging.
Khushboo Libbas has not only changed Anwar’s life but the blend of modernity and tradition has given Hari Nara a new identity.