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Baba Demb’s second hand wood market helps fulfilling dreams

Baba Demb’s second hand wood market helps fulfilling dreams
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Ahtisham Nazki
Srinagar: They are unknown to the outer world but their efforts have made it sure that Kashmir’s downtrodden and less privileged too can afford a shelter for themselves.
The carving units of Bab Demb Srinagar is a home to many second hand markets among which wooden doors, windows and furniture markets are lesser known to the outside world.
Many small and big stores of used wooden items along the stretch of Baba Demb is a must visit place for people who cannot afford to buy brand new doors, windows and other materials for construction purposes.
Yasid Ahmad, an owner of one such store said the second hand market was not only proving to be a good source of income for scores of people living in the area but is also proving beneficial for common people who cannot afford costly items.
“I have been dealing with used windows, doors, panelling and other household items for about 10 years now. You can find at least fifty such stores here in this particular area and everyone associated with this business is earning enough by the grace of God,” he said.
People who buy things from these units also save a fair bit of money due to affordability of the products. “If you buy a new 7 ft. door it would cost you around ten thousand while here it only costs Rs 2500 to Rs 3000,” he said.
According to Yasid, the idea of starting this business was heavily influenced by the second hand car spares market on the Khayyam Baba Demb road.
“Once you pass through Khayyam road leading to Bab Dam,there are three to four big shops where people go to buy second hand, car and bike parts at a cheaper rate. One day I thought why not start something on the similar lines but with different products,” he said.
Pertinently, all the wooden items come from dismantled houses and other structures.
“Every item from windows, doors, panelling to old wood, comes to us from different dismantled houses and buildings,” he said.
The customers contact them and they buy the items from these places at affordable prices. “If needed, some items are refurbished and renovated and then sold to people,” he said.
Javid Sofi, previously an owner of a steel shop in the same area has also switched to business of selling used wooden items.
He said after incurring huge losses due to August 19 lockdown and later followed by Covid-19, he shifted to this business which proved fruitful for him.
“Our family is associated with the steel business for a long time now but after suffering huge losses since 2019, we decided to go into this second hand wood business and everything is coming back on track ever since,” he said, adding that they continued their old business but comparatively at a smaller scale.
Ghulam Mohiudin, a customer at one of the stores said that the steep rise in prices of different products especially construction related materials has made it very difficult for the people of lower strata to build a shelter overhead.
“I am constructing a second story of my house. The first story was constructed a decade back and since then rates of the materials have skyrocketed. After doing a rough estimation I realized it is out of my budget,” he said.
One of his acquaintances suggested him to visit this market which saved him a lot of money.
“I am able to complete the second story of my house, all thanks to this market. Such markets are a blessing especially for people belonging to the lower middle class,” he said.



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