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Much-Needed Boost for Kashmir Handicrafts

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August 23, 2023

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday inaugurated the International Buyer-Seller meet at the University of Kashmir. In a rapidly globalizing world, initiatives like the International Buyer-Seller meet not only create opportunities for the artisans to showcase their skills on a global stage but also open doors for economic growth. As many as 24 International and many domestic buyers are participating in the two-day Buyer-Seller meet. In his address, the Lt Governor appreciated the J&K Trade Promotion Organization (JKTPO) and Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) for their endeavor to promote the export of handloom and handicraft products of J&K. “The handloom and handicraft sector of J&K is an ageless cultural asset of India, carrying a strong influence of our rich cultural diversity and spiritual traditions. It is the source of socio-economic growth to a large section of society and creates a rich pool of artisans,” the Lt Governor said. This event, attended by 24 international and numerous domestic buyers, serves as a testament to the potential and allure of the handcrafted treasures that the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has to offer. These events provide local artisans and craftsmen with access to a global marketplace. International buyers bring in diverse tastes and preferences, potentially opening up new markets for Kashmiri handicrafts. With more buyers purchasing their products, artisans can increase their sales and generate more revenue. This not only benefits individual artisans but also contributes to the overall economic growth of the region. Interacting with international buyers also exposes artisans to different design trends and quality standards. This exposure encourages artisans to continuously improve their skills and adapt to changing market demands. Handicrafts, in many ways, are the tangible embodiment of a region’s culture, tradition, and history. These artisans are not merely creators; they are storytellers, sharing narratives through their craftsmanship that transcend borders and language barriers. The handloom and handicraft sector in Jammu and Kashmir is a living, breathing heritage, representing the region’s rich cultural diversity and spiritual traditions. Each piece is a fusion of artistic mastery, intricate detailing, and a heartfelt connection to the region’s ethos. Beyond aesthetics, these crafts also contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the region by providing a sustainable livelihood to countless skilled artisans. They are the backbone of rural economies, weaving prosperity into the fabric of their communities. Moreover, such endeavors empower the artisans, enhancing their sense of pride and preserving their cultural heritage. By providing a platform for their wares to shine, we are not only investing in the economic growth of a region but also ensuring the survival of traditions that have been passed down through generations. It is pertinent to mention that export is the biggest source of revenue for handloom, handicraft and both Global North and Global South are major destinations to Kashmir’s handmade products. Through initiatives like the buyer-seller meet, the government aims to create a strong edifice of trade relationship to give a much-needed boost to our handloom and handicraft sector.


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