Pulwama is known for being a militancy hotbed, but not a lot of people know that this district is soon to be called the pencil district of the country because it produces more than 70 per cent slats for the making pencils in the country
“Before the 90’s the companies used to get the wood from China, Germany etc. Then they started taking the wood from here. Slowly we have started doing all the work from here. I am very happy that it is happening here, a lot of people are getting their livelihood”, said Manzoor Ahmad Alai, one of the first pencil unit holders, Pulwama Oukhoo.
Dozens of units are engaged in preparing slats inside homes from a special tree that grows only in the wetlands of the district. The locals say that the wood of these trees grown here has the right amount of moisture for making pencils.
“The region gives 90 per cent of these slats. I think there is an initiative in the offing to declare Pulwama as the pencil district. The government is trying to ensure all possible help is provided to the unit holders”, said Mubashir Ahmad, local industries official
It is not just the men but many women from these local areas are taking a lead in this sector. The interest that is seen in these pencil making unit is kindling the hopes of growth of this industry in the whole district.