Born as PwD (person with disability) in 1976 to a family of wicker basketry makers, he currently resides in Kachan, Ganderbal in a joint family with four siblings. Ghulam Mohammad Magray is a proud yet humble third generation basketry maker. He has four daughters and aspires to get them involved in the craft business in future, which is not such a norm in this craft for daughters to get into. Shaaksaaz has encouraged him and given him the confidence to give his daughters the opportunity to take his business forward.
Ghulam’s grandfather used to make limited items for example picnic/ fruit/ photure (load bearing baskets). Their homes were like gurukuls for all sons of the family to go through that tough home schooling in traditional wicker craft making on Sundays & holidays.
They have their own farmland where they grow willow wicker, and his dexterous handcrafting talent shows itself to all who see the final products made by him.
With Shaaksaz, Ghulam has seen his talent being recognized while understanding and getting a new vision on how new techniques/dimensions & shape with good quality can widen his market. In this project via Shaaksaz, he got an opportunity to work with an American designer Howard Peller, where he made wicker lights, which has been shortlisted by ATA (Aid to Artisans) and is being presented in Las Vegas market from 24-28th July’2022 by the KADAM team Furthermore, He got an award too in 2021 from the State govt for developing a wall clock in willow wicker.
Ghulam’s enterprising ability to be a team person along with being an excellent artisan is what sets him apart. He is now on the executive board of the company which has the support from kadam haat, the Govt of J&K & the world bank.