Exhibition aimed to help distressed local artisans
Srinagar, Oct 9: In order to provide direct marketing support to a maximum number of artisans and weavers, Handicrafts & Handloom Department, Kashmir is organising a Craft Mela at Kashmir Haat (Numaish Gah) from Tuesday, October 13 on a rotational basis.
The move is aimed to provide some relief to people associated with handicrafts sector who have been distressed due to COVID19 pandemic, an official spokesperson said.
The department has urged the people, youth and working-class to visit Kashmir Haat in large numbers and buy local genuine handloom and handicraft products during the mela to get value for their money besides providing succour to our weavers and artisans and ensure business continuity. Entry into the Kashmir Haat is free for the general public during the mela.
This shall be the first physical fair after the Government announced measures to further unlock businesses and other economic activities. During the period of Craft Mela, the department shall ensure that social distancing norms are adhered to in letter and spirit.
The COVID19 pandemic this year has dealt a severe blow to the export of famed handicraft and handloom products from Kashmir to other parts of the country and abroad this year in view of the restrictions imposed to curb the virus. To overcome the business losses and revive the sector, the Handicrafts & Handloom Department has intensified the ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign launched by the Government to reach out to the artisans and weavers by connecting them with potential buyers. The Department has also launched a sustained media campaign to motivate different sections of the society in supplementing the efforts of the Government in increasing sales and improved profits for artisans and weavers.
The Craft Mela shall be a continuous affair at Kashmir Haat with around 50 stalls reserved for artisans and weavers for a period of 15 days on a rotational basis. They have been advised to approach the concerned Assistant Director in their respective districts for booking of stalls on first-cum-first serve basis. In view of business losses suffered by the artisans and weavers due to COVID19 pandemic, the department has proposed waiving of stall rentals at Kashmir Haat during the period of the exhibition.
Besides the artisans and weavers from Jammu Division, the Department has also invited J&K Handloom & Handicrafts Development Corporation, J&K Agro Industries and Indian Institute of Carpet Technology to display and sell their products. The products made by trainees at various training centres of the Department, including carpets made under the Massive Carpet Scheme, shall also be available for sale during the exhibition.
“Vocal for Local’ campaign
Referring to the measures being taken by the Government to support the craft sector, Director Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir urged the general public to visit Numaish Gah and support the Government’s ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign by buying products like Pashmina & Kani Shawls, Silk Carpets, Papier Mâché, Copperware, Sozni embroidery, Chain Stitch & Crewel, Aari and Stapple, Felted Numdhas and Pherans with Zari. He added the department is making concerted efforts to bridge the gap between local artisans and weavers, technology and marketplaces by also using platforms like Virtual Fairs to counter the negative impact of the corona-virus pandemic. He added that the response from the participation of craft entrepreneurs and exporters in Virtual Fairs has been very encouraging as a large number of business queries from buyers from all parts of the world have been received.
The Director exuded confidence that the sector will be able to reach out to a larger customer base in virtual mode to tap new markets beyond their known destinations. He also urged the artisans and weavers to come forward and form Cooperatives/ Self Help Groups to avail the financial support announced by the Government to promote their businesses.
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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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