Stories of Artisans

Know their Story Struggle

Kulwant Singh, Photographer, Adampur

I got married in 1975. That same year I went to Austria. There were a few of us who travelled by road at that time. Eventually, our visas expired after a year. We were expelled and forced to cross over to Yugoslavia. Fortunately, I had some money to travel back.

Read More »

Kuljit Singh Papad maker, Amritsar

It was all good before Sukhbir Badal made this heritage street, whatever the nonsense it is. He wanted to build a plaza here and asked us to sell our shops. When we denied, he built this wall ruining the rawness of such a spiritual place.

Read More »

Khairdeen, Watchman, Jandali

My name is Khairdeen. My story began in 1947 when I started working as a watchman. I had worked as a well digger or a farm labourer. In 1947, there were innumerable instances of bloodshed, looting, and sexual violence against women. Similar incidents happened in the nearby village, Tola Loona Zaildar Wala.

Read More »

Karnail Atwal, Tailor, Kanakwal, Mansa

My childhood was like every other child. We were four brothers and three sisters. My elder brother is a police officer and the youngest is a farm labourer. The middle one passed away. All three sisters are elder to me. My father was very good at farm work.

Read More »

Jaswinder Kaur, Sundar Singh Wala, Janitor

I have been a cleaner and sweeper of cattle dung in almost all the houses of Surastigarh. After 6 months, some households would give me 2 quintal rice, some would give 3 quintal wheat. I had to fight for it if someone didn’t give the meant amount.

Read More »

Ishwar Das, Watchmaker, Patiala

I started this work fifty years ago. My parents used to make some random stuff at home and sell it, but the business wasn’t enough to keep things running smoothly. They put me in a school, while studying there I got interested in watchmaking.

Read More »

Hussain Ali, Hookah Maker, Malerkotla

Hookah business is slow these days; it used to be good before 1947. There were eight workshops here, now it’s just me. I was an apprentice with a hookah maker for four years. I learnt the craft from him. My grandfather was into some other field of work.

Read More »

Harvinder Singh, Sewing Machine Mechanic, Anandpur Sahib

Anandpur used to be known for its traditional Punjabi shoe-making (Juttis), but now you won’t find any craftsman here. Daulat Singh, one such craftsman, was known all over Punjab. All these people have passed away now and their kids went to colleges, taking up new jobs.

Read More »