"All of us siblings are involved in this family legacy. The weaving is done by us brothers, while my sisters take care of decorating, fringing and finishing, etc."
"My family has been in the weaving arts for many a generation now: my father, grandfather and great grandfather were all in this field. I think it's been more than 200 years now that our family has been practicing this craft. I am so proud to be a part of this family legacy.
"Hello, my name is Ziauddin and I was born and brought up in Banaras - one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. The majestic ghats (riverfront steps) along the river Ganges are a thing of beauty, and as a child my friend and I would often venture around the ghats as they also provide nice picnic spots. We would often take a ride on the boat to go to the other side of the river. It was a lot of fun, and as long as I live I will never forget it.
"I am proud to have been born and brought up in Banaras. We are seven brothers and sisters and it was such fun growing up together. Banaras is a city in Uttar Pradesh dating back to the 11th century B.C. It is regarded as the spiritual capital of India as many pilgrims come here to bathe in the sacred waters of the River Ganges and perform funeral rites. There are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath or "Golden Temple," dedicated to Shiva.
"Apart from being a holy place for the Hindus, Banaras is also famous for the art of silk weaving. The Varanasi silk saris and shawls are world famous.
"We once used to own more than 200 looms, but with the coming of technology, power looms took over since they are less time consuming and less labor intensive. Due to the advent of power looms, the jobs of weavers were reduced and most of them were opting for different work or trade.
"So with the number of weavers lessening, we also lost a good number of weavers. Yet even with power looms, you still need the expertise to weave.
"However, we continued working on the hand looms and today we still have about 25-30 looms and we're still weaving the traditional way. Of course with time we also had to resort to the use of power looms in order to meet the market demands, but personally I still love working on hand looms.
"All of us siblings are involved in this family legacy. The weaving is done by us brothers, while my sisters take care of decorating, fringing and finishing, etc.
"We are known for our bright color combination, and our shawls and scarves are much liked by our customers. I am so happy to be in this field, and I would want my children to inherit this rich weaving legacy."