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A story of Kashmir’s first woman cricket bat manufacturer

Last Updated on December 9, 2020 at 7:31 pm

Rifat Masoodi is the first woman to own a cricket bat manufacturing unit in Jammu and Kashmir. She lives in a part of Kashmir which has been through quite volatile times since few decades.

Initially, bat-manufacturing unit was started in the 1970’s by her father-in-law. However, in the late 80s, the region of Kashmir went through insurgency and as a result, many businesses slowly come apart, including the one started by her father-in-law. Also Read: Jammu man starts food delivery after getting sacked during pandemic

In 1999, 21-year-old Rifat decided to revive her father-in-law’s manufacturing unit. Her decision was motivated by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who went on a bus journey to Pakistan. She told that Vajpayee’s efforts at bringing peace between both the nations brought a sense of calm and normalcy to Kashmir. Former PM’s efforts led to a renewed wave of interest in Kashmiri products from buyers across the nation.

Rifat started her business from scratch. She made calls to buyers throughout the nation, and even offered wholesale customers free stay at the Masoodi residence.

Rifat was married into a conservative family at a very young age. Her family didn’t approve of women working outside the home. However, she says that her business venture received complete support from everyone in her family, especially her husband, Showkat Masoodi, who was a forest department employee who quit his job to become a full-time football coach in 2010. Also Read: This woman is representing Ladakh to the world through her fashion designing

Rifat’s business model is very simple. The raw material for bats comes from Pampore Mandi, and the entire process of carving out bats from wood is carried out under her watchful eye. There are five workers currently who work for her, but in case a large order comes in, she hires more workers to finish the job on time. Her unit manufactures all kinds of bats, including tennis bats and season bats.

She uses stickers of her own brand Masoodi Arts and Sports (MAS) on bats her venture produces. Her one of the biggest desire is to one day see Indian players using the cricket bats manufactured by her.

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