Schemes for yarn supply, CFCs, raw material banks, new looms, skill upgradation being proposed
Srinagar, Sept 18: To overcome the stiff challenges confronting the carpet industry in Jammu and Kashmir, Commissioner Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Friday chaired a meeting to discuss slew of measures to revive the sector, which remains the mainstay of exports to overseas destinations.
Special Secretary, I&C, MMR. Ghassi, Managing Director, J&K Handloom & Handicrafts Corporation, Hashmat Ali Yatoo, Director, Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir, Mussarat Islam, Director IICT, Zubair Ahmad, besides other senior officers attended the meeting.
Emphasizing upon the promotion of traditional industries which have carved out a niche for itself in overseas markets, Secretary Industries spelt out a futuristic plan to revive the carpet sector, which remains the mainstay of craft products exported from Jammu & Kashmir. He asked Director Handicrafts and Handloom to submit a detailed proposal for implementation of the Yarn Supply Scheme for different types of raw material to registered carpet weavers. He also issued directions to Director IICT to work out a proposal for establishing at least two Raw Material Banks in carpet craft-concentrated areas, one in Central Kashmir and one in North Kashmir, which shall ensure sustained supply of quality of raw material.
Responding to the issue of replacing 10,000 old and worn out carpet looms, Dwivedi fixed a target of 2000 looms during the current financial year and issued directions to take up the matter with the Ministry of Textiles for considering the proposal under the relevant scheme. He also advised Director IICT to propose a prototype of various carpet looms with technical support of experts, which shall ensure that knotted quality of the finished product is world-class.
On the issue of immediate need of establishing a Yarn Dyeing House in IICT campus, Secretary Industries asked Director Handicrafts & Handloom to earmark requisite funds in the revised Capex Budget 2020-21. He also issued directions for expediting upgradation of the existing lab in IICT for GI labelling for the branding of silk carpets.
Highlighting the need to provide a level playing field to craft exporters and entrepreneurs, Mr. Dwivedi laid emphasis upon their participation in virtual fairs in view of the pandemic and restrictions on holding of physical fairs. He also advised Director Handicrafts and Handloom to coordinate with EPCH and CEPC for handholding of carpet and craft exporters.
The craft entrepreneurs and exporters are slated to participate in two big virtual fairs being organized by the Ministry of Textiles later this month and in November. This shall provide an opportunity to the exporters to find online buyers to sell their finished products, which shall minimize the adverse impact of Covid-19 pandemic on exports.
Taking cognizance of the need to expose carpet weavers to demand-driven products, Secretary Industries stressed upon design diversification and skill upgradation of weavers.
Director Handicrafts & Handloom briefed Secretary Industries on the need to bring the artisans and weavers within the ambit of Building Operations & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, by proposing an amendment to Central Government in the Act. On this, the Secretary Industries said he will take up the matter with the Labour & Employment Department to come up with a similar scheme to provide social security net to the artisans and weavers in the form of life insurance, health incentive, academic scholarship and marriage assistance etc.
On the issue of unsold inventories in craft sector, Secretary Industries issued standing instructions to MD, J&K Handloom & Handicrafts Corporation to explore the possibility of reserving certain craft-related items for Government procurement for Estates, Hospitality & Protocol and Tourism Departments.
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PHD chamber holds capacity-building programme for artisans of chain stitch, crewel embroidery
PHD Chamber holds capacity-building workshop for crewel embroidery artisans
Srinagar, Sept 13: PHD Chamber Kashmir chapter conducted a two-day capacity-building workshop for the crewel embroidery artisans here at Kashmir Haat.
The workshop was organised in association with the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir and with the support of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry Government of India in an effort to bring the business of weavers, craftsmen, artisans, and designers into the mainstream.
Director Handicrafts Mehmood Ahmad Shah inaugurated the workshop.
“Even though handicrafts is the second-largest industry after agriculture, they do not receive the attention they deserve. Weaved and handmade objects are regarded as art by foreigners, but because they are indigenous to us, they don’t seem to have the same value,” said Mehmood Shah, according to a statement issued by PHD Chamber.
These kinds of workshops serve as a platform for bringing together artisans, craftsmen, and designers, allowing them to connect and generate fresh ideas in response to changing consumer demands.
Mehmood Shah interacted with craftsmen working with crewel and chain stitches and gave them instructions for registering as artisans and providing them with a platform for marketing. In order to expand the scope of marketing for handicraft and handloom items, the director handicrafts emphasised to artisans the importance of incorporating the most recent technological developments and innovations in accordance with current market trends. This includes proper e-marketing of the products.
The programme was attended by 49-artisans of crewel embroidery work and craft clusters from various areas.
On the occasion, Riyaz Ahmed Kawoosa, Assistant Director Publicity and Exhibitions, Handicrafts and Handloom Department, was also present. The resource person, Mushtaq Ahamd, Designer School of Designs, focused on topics including the value of design in crafts, how to create refined designs for export, new and innovative designs development and quality improvement.
“The Indian handicraft industry needs to embrace technology across the value chain, from production to the final sale of goods,” said Dr Asif Naqeshbandi, assistant professor department of management studies.
The use of technology, whether it be to increase production yield or give artisans access to direct digital marketplaces, needs to be taught at the grassroots level in addition to this. The long-term survival and expansion of the sector depend on Indian artists having a bigger presence in these virtual platforms, where young customers are increasingly choosing to purchase.
Dr Mohd Sayyed Bhat from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai made artisans aware of the importance of packaging for handicrafts, especially for crewel and chain stitch.
Later artisans visited the school of designs where they saw a live demonstration of the chain stitch and the crewel stitch. The tour was organised by Shahena Bhat, a designer at the school.
The artisans thanked the Handicraft Department and PHD Chamber for organising such awareness workshops. They also stated that they would use the techniques they learned to improve the packaging, design, and marketing of their products.
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