Kashmir Indepth

J&K Govt for revival of handicrafts sectors

Raouf Dar

Srinagar Aug 25 (KINS): For revival of the handicrafts sector, the government has decided to focus on promotion and branding of handicraft items in Jammu and Kashmir.

Despite having a rich and diverse tradition of handicrafts and artwork in the Valley, the men and women behind such beautiful pieces of work don’t always get their due.

Worse, few artisans have access to markets or get institutional support. As a result, many of them are being forced to give up their vocations.

Many traditional art-forms are also at risk of dying out altogether.

However, the government is now taking steps like branding of handicrafts, organizing exhibitions and marketing events in an attempt to revive the dying art forms.

“There has to be policy on how this sector will retain the employment of people associated with it. The carpet industry besides other major crafts are in slump due to multiple reasons,” an official of the Industries and Commerce Department, told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

He explained “We have framed a road map and given it to the government, clearly defining the revival measures.”

An artisan, Bashir Ahmad said they have also taken up this issue with officials of Industries and Commerce Department. “They assured us that there is a special proposal with the government for marketing and branding of handicrafts,” he said.

While, it is difficult to distinguish genuine handmade products from those made on power looms or the ones mass-produced by machines.

He informed that around 2.5 lakh people are registered with the government who are associated with this sector. “A proper policy has to be framed for employment of people associated with this sector,” he said.

He said, “Our main focus shall be on quality products so that there is more foreign export.”

While on one hand, the government is trying to promote entrepreneurship, a chunk of the entrepreneurs in this sector are affected due to poverty as well as other social injustices.

“In such scenarios, it is almost impossible for an entrepreneur to take risks. This is a critical reason for them being unable to adopt the latest technology or skill based training to labour in the industry, a vital element of today’s business,” said Hanief Ahmad, 27-year-old entrepreneur. (KINS)

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