10 Indian Professions That Are Slowly Treading Towards Extinction

In India, there is a very popular tradition of passing on the family profession to the following generations. People in India have long lineages of being potters, carpenters, priests, cremators and so on. They are known to have been in that profession for generations but with the advent of the modern era, these professions are failing to provide financial aid and people are slowly leaving their family culture opting for other, well to do jobs. Here are 8 Indian professions that are slowly dying as India embarks on a new journey of development.

1. The Scribes Of Delhi

Back in the Mughal Era, calligraphy was considered a well-perceived art. Kings and rulers would hire scribes to teach them the art of writing beautifully and the scribes were often given high designations in the court. Scribes would often copy manuscripts in Urdu, Persian, and Arabic and make a living out of it. However, now when Urdu font has been taken over by computers, scribes are losing their hold on the talent. By now, only the last of the scribe brigade is left in Old Delhi.

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2. Street Dentists

Making your way into the mouths of random people, dealing with their decayed teeth, bad breath and bleeding gums isn’t an easy task. However, the street dentist was till long the only option for the common man to go for dental remedies. Corroded pliers, tin bottles and some rotten pair of dentures are all they have in their street-side clinic.

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3. Genealogists of Haridwar

Genealogists keep a record of the family in registers and keep updating the families astrological history, with a genealogical tree mentioning deaths, births, marriages, and children of the family. This is done to keep up with the Hindu tradition of maintains ‘Vahis’ and perform rituals to immortalize their ancestors and help them move further in realms. With computers coming, this profession too is getting digitised.

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4. Ittarwalahs

Now that the world talks only of perfumes and deodorants, the ittarwalahs  had a flourishing business of selling perfumed bottles from a little wooden box hanging on their necks. They would move through the lanes of the old city where the nawabs lived, where women would buy jasmine scented ittars to create a romantic mood. Now the business is reaching its end as expensive perfumes and brands wreck the market!

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5. The Potters of Goa

The small red laterite workshops are losing their profession of creating hand pinched pots as the market now has stainless steel pots and utensils. Despite the fact that the terracotta pots are good for health, the potters of Goa lose their age-old traditional work with the new economy.

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6. Professional Mourners

In Rajasthan, a clan of professional mourners depended on deaths and funerals to make a living. They mourned, howled, screamed over the dead bodies wearing black dresses and are known as ‘Rudalis’. The tradition of hiring professional mourners is silently taking a backseat in the state now.

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7. Unani Hakims

As we take the route to allopathy and modern medicine, Unani hakims or medicine men who relied on natural medicines and herbs for catering to ailments find their shops on the verge of closure.

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8. Film Poster Painters

With graphic designing and technology, painters who would hand paint Hindi film posters have almost become extinct. Hardly you would find them now even when hand-painted film posters remain as an important nostalgic artifact, framed in cafes and houses.

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9. Washermen (Dhobi)

Gone are the days when dhobi ghats would be brimming with the hum of spanking clothes on the stones as dhobis would wash clothes under the sun. These open-air dryers are now an age-old profession that has almost gone extinct with washing machines.

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10. Shoemakers/Mochis

There was a time when shoes would be carefully designed with a customised style, size and design catering to the needs of the customer. Now, with big brands standardizing shoe sizes, won son shoes find a closed market.

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Shaista Singh

You might find me chalking out posts, basking in the world of expression at work. In love with blogging and the world of SEO! I am happy finding my balance in expression and the way google works.

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