Grand Achievement

The city of Srinagar has been bestowed with a prestigious honour by the World Crafts Council, recognizing it as a World Craft City. The recognition is a big milestone for the city’s handicraft and handloom sector. This honour is not just a celebration of Srinagar’s rich craft heritage but also a call to action to preserve, promote and innovate in the handicraft and handloom sector. Notably, this success follows Srinagar’s recognition as a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts in 2021. The city’s crafts, including Pashmina shawls, Kashmiri carpets, intricate woodwork, and papier-mâché, are renowned for their beauty and craftsmanship. The artisans of Srinagar have honed their skills over generations, perfecting their craft and creating masterpieces that have captivated the world. The recognition as a World Craft City is a fitting tribute to their hard work, dedication and passion. The impact of this recognition will be far-reaching. With increased global recognition, Srinagar’s crafts will gain enhanced visibility on the international stage, opening up new markets and opportunities for artisans. The sector is likely to attract greater investment and funding, aiding in infrastructure development and introducing modern techniques while preserving traditional methods. Artisans will have access to advanced training programs and workshops, further honing their skills and fostering innovation in their craft. The increase in demand for Srinagar’s unique crafts is expected to boost production, leading to job creation and improved livelihoods for artisans. Tourism in Srinagar is also set to benefit significantly from this recognition, with the city attracting more tourists interested in cultural and craft heritage. The city’s cultural and craft heritage will provide tourists with immersive experiences, including visits to artisan workshops and cultural events showcasing Srinagar’s vibrant crafts. The government and other stakeholders must make the best use of this honour by providing support to the artisans and the sector. This can be achieved by providing infrastructure development and techniques while preserving traditional methods, offering advanced training programs and workshops to artisans, encouraging innovation and creativity in the craft, providing marketing and promotional support to increase visibility and demand for Srinagar’s crafts, developing tourist infrastructure and cultural events to showcase the city’s vibrant crafts, and ensuring that the benefits of this recognition are shared equitably among all stakeholders, including artisans, traders, and the local community. In today’s digital age, having a robust online presence is vital. By facilitating artisans’ entry onto e-commerce platforms, their reach can be expanded globally, allowing them to tap into markets that were previously inaccessible. Establishing dedicated trade centres and actively participating in national and international trade fairs will provide artisans with platforms to showcase their work, network with buyers, and gain exposure to new market trends. The recognition of Srinagar as a World Craft City is a significant achievement that acknowledges the city’s rich cultural heritage and the exceptional skills of its artisans. With the right support and infrastructure, this recognition can have a major impact on the sector and make Srinagar an international hub for cultural and craft heritage.

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