Handicrafts have direct bearing in JK State’s economy: Omar
Srinagar,July 12 (Scoop News) - Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Thursday said that revival of Kashmir handicrafts to its pristine glory and ameliorating the lot of artisans has been underlined as focused area by his government.
"Unless substantial remunerations are ensured to the manufacturers of different handicrafts, the holistic growth and development of this sector is not possible", he said adding that efforts are being made to develop direct liaison between the producers and buyers.
Addressing the awards giving and modern carpet looms distributing function at SKICC here, the Chief Minister said that Almighty has bestowed his blessings to the State in the shape of skilful artisans with magical hands.
"The works of artisans of the State mesmerise everyone. The lovers of art and craft crave for handicraft items from this place. But we observe that the craftsmen who produce items of world class standard do not receive returns worth their hard work and skill. This aspect needs to be addressed", he said detailing the initiative taken by his government for developing artisan clusters under the comprehensive Handicraft Cluster Development Scheme.
The Chief Minister said that the various areas in Sher-i-Khas (Old City) have been identified under the scheme to develop various handicrafts and ensure welfare of the artisans and manufacturers by developing their direct contact with the buyers.
Omar Abdullah said that to start with 2 kilometre stretch from Safakadal to Veer is being developed as heritage-street with focused attention on cluster development of artisans under the scheme. The scheme also envisages handicraft market along the street and at the mall to be developed at Chattabal, Veer on Jhelum Bank.
Omar Abdullah said that while unfavourable law and order situation during the 20 years of disturbance has greatly contributed to the decline of Kashmir handicrafts industry, the reduction in tourist flow has also contributed in shattering this important economic activity. He said certain unscrupulous elements indulging in manufacturing of spurious handicrafts have badly affected the reputation of the State.
The Chief Minister made artisans aware of the damage these unscrupulous elements are inflicting upon the handicrafts sector and asked the artisans to beware of these elements. He said majority of artisans and manufacturers are honest and their products are true artefacts of par excellence but the damage being done by handful of dishonest people bring disrespect to entire community. He told the artisans to make honesty benchmark of their activity and isolate those who indulge in malpractices.
Omar said that government would provide all support to the artisans to strengthen and flourish their trade. He said Handicrafts Department has taken various measures to provide necessary succour to the handicraft and handloom sectors in the State.
Speaking on the occasion Minister for Industries, S. S. Slathia spelt out the new initiatives initiated by the Omar-led government to strengthen handicrafts and handloom sectors in the State. He said that 8000 modern carpet looms are being distributed to the deserving carpet weavers. He said 2000 looms will be given to them by December this year.
S. S. Slathia said that the cash for State Awards have been enhanced from Rs. 10,000, Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 20,000, Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 50,000 respectively for first, second and third positions for the outstanding artisans in different categories.
The Minister said that the stipend for trainees has also been increased from Rs. 100 and Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 and Rs. 700 per month. He said that government is also finding ways and means to provide market support to the manufacturers of different handicrafts.
The Chief Minister handed over sanction letters for modern carpet looms to 50 artisans from 10 districts of the Valley. He also gave awards to the outstanding artisans and craftsmen.
The first awards carrying Rs. 50,000 and a shawl each were received by Khawja Nazir Ali in sozni-embroidery, Mohammad Haneef in paper machie and Mohammad Rafeeq in wood-carving while second awards of Rs. 30,000 each were received by Sajad Hussain Bhat in Sozni, Nazir Ahmad Bhat in paper machie and Rigzin Dorjey in innovative craft and third awards of Rs. 20,000 each were given to Mukhtar Ahmad Baht in sozni, Smt. Masarat in paper machie and Smt. Sona Rupi in Basholi painting.
Director Handicrafts, Muzaffar Hussain in his welcome address presented the resume of measures taken by the Directorate for the welfare of artisans and the growth of handicrafts sector in the Valley.
Tags: CM , JK , Awards , Artisans
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