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Khatri Abdul Gani Jakria

Interview Summary

Khatri Abdul Gani Jakria’s family have been involved in the bandhani dyeing (bandhani rangat) profession for around 125 years. It is his family business, that encompasses bandhani saree, odhana, duppata, katha, baghida, khombhi chandrakhani and madd for many different communities including the Jat, Harijan, Nagar Vaniya, Ahir and also the Muslim communities of Lohar and Khatri among others. Their products are predominantly marketed in Kachchh at the local level. They combine traditional designs with some modification as per the demands of the bazaar. Abdul Gani strongly feels that now things have changed for the better in their business, as with the expansion of market and greater demand they no longer struggle as they did in the former times. In previous years, he recalls, they lived very much a hand-to-mouth existence. In former times he had workers, but now he manages on his own and is helped by his son in managing the business. His cousin and brothers are also engaged in the same business. Abdul Gani feels that synthetic fabrics are posing a severe threat to the bandhani craft. He survived the calamity of earthquake partly on his own and partly with the aid of the government.