Srinagar: The ‘Flag Woman of Kupwara’ Jamila Begum was awarded the commendation card by the Northern Army commander on August 13 for her contribution towards women empowerment, taking the Kashmiri art to the masses and uplifting the name of Kunan-Poshpora.
A flag stitching initiative was started by Jamila Begum from Babagund in June 2021, supported by the Indian Army and Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS). The Indian Army placed orders to stitch the national flag as there was no employment for women in the pandemic times.
With the first embroidered national flag coming out beautifully, the prowess of the women of Kunan-Poshpora – Babagund in art was recognised and they started receiving orders from different parts of Kashmir. National flags were being stitched for the first time in Kashmir, which gained a positive media attention.
Her utmost dedication and hard work motivated other skill centres in Kupwara to stitch more than 8000 national flags in 2021. The effort and patriotism displayed by these women was praised by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ program in November 2021.
For the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga; campaign in 2022, Tricolour flags are being made across the country, but the ones made by these women stand out. This year they made 600 national flags, hand stitched for the Indian army wherein the Ashok Chakra was beautifully hand embroidered. They will be unfurled all along Line of Control (LoC) and different parts of India.
Her commitment and dedication towards empowerment of women will further motivate other women folk in the area to make a niche for themselves in their respective walks of life.
At the award ceremony women from Kunan-Poshpora and sarpanch of the village presented a flag to the Northern Army commander and Chinar Corps commander. The dedication, zeal and fighting spirit of the women was praised by the army commander and he promised to visit their centres soon.