Govt initiates measures to safeguard traditional copper craft

Srinagar, Jan 9: In a significant move to protect the age-old tradition of crafting copper utensils in Jammu and Kashmir, the Government has entrusted the Director of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir with the responsibility of enforcing the J&K Prohibition of Manufacture of Specified Copper Utensils (by machine) Act.

The decision comes as a response to the increasing threat posed by machines in the crafting of copperware, leading to the marginalization of traditional artisans and the entry of unskilled individuals into the industry, adversely affecting the livelihoods of traditional craftsmen.

As per the statement, although the government’s efforts to implement the act have faced challenges, the Department of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir is actively addressing the issue of machine-made copperware being sold as handmade. To promote genuine handmade copperware, the department has introduced hologram-based labelling to authenticate products, with 291 Copperware labels issued in the first three quarters of 2022-23.

“A key priority is to bring handmade copperware under the protection of the Geographical Indication Act, recognizing its unique regional identity and craftsmanship. The recent inclusion of copperware, along with 20 other crafts, in the category of “Notified Crafts” demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting local artisans. This inclusion facilitates the registration of copperware artisans, granting them access to various government support programmes, the statement said.

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