Promoting Handicrafts, Cover story 6 February 2023

Promoting Handicrafts 

News Kashmir Analysis 

Kashmir is known all over the world for its exquisite handicrafts products. Preserving traditional arts should be our priority.  One such art is the Kani Shawl art .Handicrafts is an age old industry in Jammu and Kashmir having history of centuries,  it has thrived and kept the economy of region moving. The artisans of Jammu and Kashmir are famous for making some of the exquisite Handicrafts of the world. 

Sozani embroidery, Walnut wood carving,Hand-knotted carpet, Pashmina, Papier Mache etc are some of the world known Handicrafts of Kashmir.

One of the important handicraft products of the valley of Kashmir has been the Kani shawls. Kani Shawls are woven on a fame-loom using fine wooden sticks locally called ‘Tooj’i, which have coloured woolen threads attached to them. A Kani shawl takes about three months to a year for an artisan to complete depending on the embroidery and fetches a very handsome amount nationally and globally.

Over the years fake handicrafts sold in name of handicrafts of Kashmir is a matter of serious concern.

The adverse  impact of this unscrupulous trade is that now one of Kashmir’s oldest handicraft legends and legacy, the Pashmina, is threatened by its imitations as the high-priced handmade fabric is increasingly being eased out from markets by its cheap, machine-made namesake.

It is also learnt since long  that some fake elements are selling cheap Handicrafts of Amritsar and seeling it in name of the Brand Kashmir in other parts of the country.

But Jammu and Kashmir Government along with Union Government is taking multiple steps to revive the legacy of Handicrafts of Kashmir.

In a major achievement, Jammu and Kashmir has become the first region in the country to issue Quick Response (QR) labels for its 13 different GI and non-GI registered handicrafts.

The QR code labels are a step towards providing global recognition of the traditional arts and crafts of the Himalayan region. The government has been aiming to make J-K products popular across the globe through special marketing strategies and schemes.

Recently, The Director Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir  launched 8 online Services for the artisans, weavers, trainees and other stakeholders. These services are integrated with the Single window system, with aim to provide all Handicrafts and handloom services under “One Umbrella-Single Window System.

The main objective of this system is to facilitate the artisans and other stakeholders to get digital clearances and other benefits in a time bound manner.

The visible efforts are being put in to  promote  revive Kashmir Handicrafts, thereby bringing visible change in the lives of Artisans and Weavers. 

The export picture is improving much .

2021-22, handicrafts products worth 563.13 crore were exported to different markets. Carpets topped the list with exports touching Rs 251.06 crore. It was followed by shawls and rumals with exports touching Rs 165.98 crore. 

One hopes all the efforts given with reference to promotion of handicrafts of Kashmir would be given.