Meet 75-YO Haji Ghulam Mahommad, Who Keeps Alive The Tradition Of Ox-Driven Oil Mill In Kashmir

Sitting beside his family members in an old but big Kucha house in Kreeri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Haji Ghulam Mahommad Teli’s wizened face and dry calloused hands fairly depict the hard work man has put for decades. Teli (75) owns and runs one of the last ox-driven traditional oil mill operating (Tilven waan) in the valley.

For six decades, theold man has followed a rigorous routine. He wakes way before the call for dawn prayers is announced in the local mosque, sets up the mill equipment, unties ox from barn and drives it to the mill for extracting oil. It takes him no less than three hours to churn out four litres of mustard oil.

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He later hunches for several kilometres to carry tin containing that oil on his shoulders and sells it in nearby villages, only to earn some 120 rupees per litre.

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