Shikara with flowers roving in Dal Lake with no tourists
By: Tariq Shah VOV
Many Shikara Wallas in Dal Lake used to go with their Shikaras around houseboats with a variety of flowers to present to the tourists and earn their livelihood.
Most of them have switched over to other businesses but an aged person with his Shikara is still searching for tourists on the waters of Dal Lake in this autumn season.
Muhammad Yousuf with the autumn flowers in his Shikara told this reporter that during this season he used to earn his livelihood by selling flowers to the tourists. When asked why he is still moving around with flowers in his Shikara he said, “This is my habit. I know there are no tourists but I move with these flowers that I may be called from some houseboats by some tourists to buy my flowers”.
Muhammad Yousuf says that he will also now switch over to some other business but has not the age on his side. He said that he has been doing only this throughout his life and is finding it difficult to switch over to sell vegetables etc.
Like Yousuf there were many Shikara Wallas selling only flowers to the tourists who used to be in the houseboats of Dal Lake. With no hope of any revival of tourism, most of them are either selling vegetables or doing some other jobs to survive with their families.