PESHAWAR: Although most people are unable to buy traditional Peshawari and Charsadda Chappal owing to its high price yet still it has not lost market due to its popularity, traditional touch and durability.
People began thronging Chappal maker stores at Namakmandi Chowk, Jahangir Pura Bazaar and other outlets in the city to buy variety of Peshawari Chappal for Eidul Fitr.
Nooruddin Chacha, a Chappal maker at Namakmandi Chowk, said that he had not increased price of famous Kaptaan Chappal, a pair of which was available for Rs10,000 and well off people including parliamentarians and government officials had placed orders three months ago.
A pair of famous Kaptaan Chappal being sold at Rs10,000
He said that he had already shipped pairs of Kaptaan Chappal to UK, the US, Canada and Gulf States.
“I have received an invitation from Italy earlier this month for participating in an exhibition where I would set up a stall for displaying my popular Kaptaan Chappal. I expect my stall would attract attention of the participants,” he said.
Mahtab Khan, a senior Chappal maker at Jahangir Pura Bazaar, told this scribe that popularity of Peshawari Chappal was still intact but common people couldn’t afford to buy it as its price increased every year.
He said that a pair of Peshawari Chappal was available for Rs800 to 1,000 last year but that year witnessed that a pair could be available for Rs1,200 to 2,500.
Raza Ali, a university graduate, said that young people mostly preferred new stylish, cheap footwear and easy walkers instead of traditional Chappal.
He said that not many designs and varieties were available in Peshawari Chappal.
“Young people want to buy every item matching to their dress. Most young people are not fascinated by traditional things. They need a fresh and modern commodity, which could make them look unique or at least different from others,” said Mr Ali.
Abdur Rahim, another young buyer, said that market was flooded with different kinds of shoes, slippers, boots and sandals but traditional Chappal was still admired by those, who could afford its price.
“I bought two pairs one each for myself and my cousin. Peshawari Chappal is our cultural identity. We need to safeguard the art of making Peshawari Chappal and also store keepers should bring down its price to make it affordable for common users,” said Mr Rahim.
Chappal maker Rokhan Gul while explaining the difference between Peshawari and Charsadda Chappal said that the former was round and the latter was open in its shape. He said that earlier only black colour Chappal was popular but now-a-days various colours and sizes were available in the market.
“People in villages and towns like traditional Chappal but young people in city cherish modern footwear because of new styles and fashion,” he added.
Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2017