PESHAWAR: Charsadda chappals (sandals), also called Peshawari chappals have been a fashion signature for nearly every Pakistani. There is no religious festival or occasion considered complete without this garment. Even today these chappals are a must with white Shalwar Kameez on Eid. Ghafoor Market, established in 1978 in Charsadda has around 600 units of chappal production. Each unit makes different varieties of chappals. Approximately 10,000 workers are linked to the trade. Shah Hussain, the former president of Charsadda Chappal Association said that around 10,000 chappals ranging from single to triple gear are made every day in this market. Single, double and triple denotes the number of times each pair is sewn. If a chappal is called triple gear, it means it has been stitched thrice, signifying durability. Broad shape, narrow shape, T-shape, panjidar, slipper and sandal are also popular among the consumers. Captain chappal is a new addition in the market. It was named after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman, Imran Khan, a former cricketer. The brand has gained popularity in KP. “Kaptan chappal, as it is pronounced locally, is rather expensive compared to the rest of the shoes. It costs between Rs 5,000-Rs 10,000. Charsadda chappals, historians claim, date back to the times of Alexander the great. Shah Hussain has inherited the chappal-making business from his ancestor who had been associated with this business for hundreds of years. These chappals are exported to Middle East, Europe and the US. Paul Smith, a British shoe designer having copied the traditional Charsadda chappal has reproduced it under the brand name Robert Sandals. They retail at around £300 a pair.Both Pakistani and imported leather is used in chappal making. Since the leather industry is located in Lahore, therefore, transportation costs at times push the prices up for each pair of shoes. Labour KP Director Irfan Khan told this scribe that the leather-producing units in KP were closed down because of militancy and terrorism. He said his government was trying to revive the industry but due to the paucity of funds had not been able to start the project. Charsadda Chappal Association President, Haji Maqsood while talking with Daily Times, said that the government established Footwear Training Institute in collaboration with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Ministry of Commerce and Charsadda Chappal Makers Association in 2003.“A Thirty-two kanal piece of land was purchased with the cooperation of Export Promotion Bureau in Charsadda to set up the institution. It is now 12 years old and the institution is still being run in a rented house. We have made repeated requests to the government to construct the institution,” says Maqsood. Fazli Ameen, a teacher in the Footwear Training Institute said that in their institute presently 500 men and 500 women were being trained in the institution. Women are trained to making leather purses and wallets while men were trained to make shoes. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industries President Faud Ishaq said that he had discussed the matter of constructing the institution with the Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastageer. Being a member of Exports Development Funds, Faud has been asked to prepare a survey report after which he believes funds will be released for the construction of the institution.