PESHAWAR, Apr 24 (APP): As nearly seven days left in Eidul Fitr, Eid shoppers on Sunday thronged to Peshawari Chappal outlets to select appropriate ready made shoes for themselves and their loved ones to have different look on Eid.
Following significant decrease of COVID-19 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawari Chappal outlets in cities and cantonments bazaars are attracting shoppers in large numbers these days. Known as city of artisans, Peshawar’s Jahangirpura bazaar near historic Qissakhwani Bazaar, is a main center of skilled cobblers, making Peshawari Chappal since long, are working till night at shops and homes to meet consumers’ pressing demands for Eid.
The consumers of other districts including Charsadda, Nowshera, Kohat, Swabi besides adjoining tribal districts including Khyber, Mohmand and Bajaur were seen in substantial number at Jahangirpura these days to select a decent, shiny and unique designs for themselves and family members for Eid festival.
The centuries old Peshawari Chappal homemade footwear tradition of Pakhtoon society, are attracting customers of all ages from across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including merged areas to profitable market of Peshawar. Peshawari Chappal has outclassed foreign made foodwear on this Eid due to its durability, comfort and affordable price.
Following skyrocketing prices of foreign-made footwear, the salaried, middle class and low income groups are giving preference to ready made Peshawari Chappal keeping in view of its durability, attractive designs, affordability and great comfort level. Keeping in people’s overwhelming response, the shoemakers hired extra skillful labourers that are working till late night at shops and homes to meet buyers’ orders.
“Like others businesses, Peshawari Chappal business was also hit hard by COVID-19 lockdown,” Muhammad Khan, a local shoemaker who remained associated with this hard business for past 22 years in Jhangirpura told APP.
He said shoemakers has suffered great financial losses due to coronavirus pandemic. Following improving situation of coronavirus, he said shoemakers associated with this hard earned business returned back to their business. He said extra labour were engaged working till late night to meet consumers orders for Eid.
“Currently we cannot accept more orders due to shortage of time, power load shedding and fasting,” he said. Khan felt proud of adhering these skills from his forefathers, who associated with this profession over decades of expertises, skills and craftsmanship.
The unique footwear is exported to South Africa, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Europe, Afghanistan and Russia besides has liked in Sindh, Balcohistan, Azad Kashmir, Punjab and Gilgit Baltistan.
He said a single pair passes through six stages of skilled hands to become a finished product, adding in first step, sole of the chappal is made flattened with rubber piece whereas in second stage, a piece of leather is sewn and then fitting of piece with the sole is done in third and fourth stage respectively.
In fifth stage, he said the pair is stuffed with a wooden piece to stretch and fix all the nails, leather and thread placed together to get the shoe adjusted and make it durable. He said later finishing touches are given to a piece in sixth stage, which includes polishing and varnishing to improve its look while artisans also paints its border with a selected chemical for a better shine.
Muhammad Khan has urged the provincial government to announce special financial package for shoemakers and lockdown affected labourers. He said centuries old Peshawar Chappal business would grow only if government provide interest-free loans to Covid 19 affected speakers.
“Peshawari Chappal is my favorite shoe and my Eid seems incomplete without it,” Zeeshan Khan, a Govt employee and resident of Nowshera told APP while selecting shoes for himself and family members at Jhangirpura Peshawar on Sunday. He said Peshawari Chappal was my preferred choice for Eid because of its unique designs, durability and comfort level.
“I purchased five sets of handmade designs of Peshawari Chappal on Rs 4,500 each this year against Rs 4,000 last year for myself, brothers, orphans and despite its little increase in prices at local markets, its prices are still in reach of common man,” he said.
“We should not forget our COVID-19 affected brothers and sisters on this Eid,” he said, adding purchasing shoes and cloths for poor people would double our joy on Eid. He urged upon the government to regulate this business and fix rates for Peshawari Chappal to facilitate consumers.
“Peshawar Chappal is my first choice for Eid as it gives added colour to traditional look with Shalwar Qameez and a trendy appearance when worn with paints and jeans,” said Janisar Khan, a resident of Nowsehra.
“After significant reduction of coronavirus cases, I visited Peshawar to buy ready made Peshawari Chappal for myself and brothers who are living abroad as they have especially asked for it for this Eid,” said Janisar Khan.
“I purchased plain black and green designs of this famous chappal as demanded by my brothers,” he said, adding its other designs both for girls and boys with different prints embellished with stones are giving a different look and individual style attracting influx of buyers on Eid,” he said. Peshawari Chappal is also being liked in festive parties like Eid, engagements and wedding ceremonies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It is no longer confined to any specific culture or age group and being loved by all in order to give more colour to festivity of Eid. The shopkeepers expressed the hope that shopping activities will get upward boom during upcoming days and on Chand Raat.