New Delhi: Even as the Line of Control remains tense as India and Pakistan accuse each other of violating the ceasefire, there is still 'Aman ki Asha'. Craftsmen from across the border are participating in a skill exchange programme in Delhi and they claim their perception of India has changed completely.
Five artisans from Pakistan are in Delhi, trying to defuse tensions. At Dilli Haat, these craftswomen are bridging boundaries by exchanging knowledge, skills and techniques of designs and embroidery with each other. The Mendhar incident hasn't marred their knowledge sharing.
Pakistani craftswoman Rifat Shehzadi says, "I can't sense any tension here. I feel like I've come to my neighbour's home."
These artists not only symbolise peace but also courage. Afida Kausar had to resist opposition from a family concerned for her security in India. "My kids asked me not to go to India. They told me to go anywhere but not India," she says.
After a visit here, that perception has changed completely now. "Everyone's really nice here. People are very cooperative," she says.
For some others, it was an emotional reunion. Nasreen Aziz, who had lost most of her family during the partition, met some of the surviving members during this visit. "It was only because of this workshop that we could meet," she said.
The Indian, too, are richer, thanks to all the tips shared by their friends from across the border.