Kashmiri crafts’ allure spans globe but access gap remains: DC Kupwara

Kupwara, Feb 17: The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom today organised a day-long exhibition cum awareness camp at Town Hall Kupwara.

The programme, presided over by the District Development Commissioner (DDC) Kupwara, Ayushi Sudan, was also attended by CO Lt Col Rajiv; AD Handicrafts & Handloom, Kupwara, Mohammad Yousaf Lone; Handicrafts Training Officer, Reyaz Ahmad Yatoo, besides a huge number of artisans, weavers and trainees.

The DDC enjoined upon the departments to take on board the interested women folk so that they can avail benefits of various government schemes. She also encouraged the participants to come forward and take benefits of the schemes.

DC said that Kashmiri handicrafts are known for their beauty, intricate designs, high quality and craftsmanship, which results in strong demand both domestically and internationally. The demand for them speaks to their quality and unique cultural appeal. Additionally, tourism plays a significant role in driving demand as visitors often seek out these handmade items as souvenirs or gifts, she added.

She said that it is good to see young educated entrepreneurs are turning up to this sector who are making efforts to bridge the access gap with the help of technology, but due to increasing demand,  physical as well as online access gap still exists.

DDC urged women artisans and entrepreneurs to increasingly incorporate technology into handicrafts and use online marketplaces and e-commerce.

She exhorted the trainees to take advantage of the government-sponsored schemes meant for handicraft and handloom development so that they can earn a livelihood by making self-help groups to establish self-income generating units.

“There are several schemes like Mudra and Tejaswini which are Women self-employment centric and women empowerment centric,” DDC said, adding that 2900 youth of Kupwara district have taken benefit of self-employment schemes.

Various speakers including experts from the Handicrafts and Handloom spoke on the occasion and highlighted various platforms and departmental initiatives for the information and Awareness of the participants.

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