Pashmina shawls to silken carpets: In a first, Delhi Malls to host Kashmir handicraft exhibitions

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SRINAGAR: Forget ramp walks, Delhi Malls will host the Kashmir handicraft exhibitions to boost exports.

Jammu and Kashmir government has invited tenders for holding exhibitions in popular Delhi Malls next month. Exhibitions will be held in eight malls across Delhi and NCR to sell inventory and boost business-to-business.

“It will be for the first time that we will be holding exhibitions in Delhi Malls. We have invited tenders from the vendors. The vendor will do all the things. He will set up stalls and do branding. We will send people who will showcase their products,” Mehmood Ahmad Shah, Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir, told The Kashmir Monitor.

Usually, during exhibitions, Kashmir shawls and carpets are the major highlighters. This time, the government is focusing on creating awareness about GI-based goods to underscore the exclusivity of Kashmir products.

“Normally shawls, carpet paper mache, walnuts, and chain stitch items are sold in these exhibitions. This time, we are focusing on GI promotion. This is the apt platform to create awareness about the GI and promote our products,” said Shah.

So far seven major crafts including Kani Shawl, Pashmina, Sozni, Paper-Machie, Walnut Wood Carving, Khatamband, and Hand Knotted Carpets have already been GI certified. Besides, the process of GI registration of seven more crafts including Kashmir Namda, Shikara, Gabba, Kashmir Willow Bat, Crewel, Wugguv, and Chain Stitch is already under process. The dossier for GI certification of all these crafts has been submitted to the GI authorities in Chennai.

The QR code-based Geographic Indication (GI) label has been launched as part of efforts to check the cheating and misbranding that has badly dented the carpet industry of Kashmir. The QR code-based label captures vital parameters of the carpet including knots per square inch, the material used, etc. This shall help check cheating and misbranding besides helping in building customer trust.  

Official figures reveal that handcrafts worth Rs 375.97 crore have been exported from April- September 2022. Of which shawls and rumals worth Rs 186.45 crore were exported to different countries. It was followed by carpets with exports touching Rs 91.08 crore.  

Likewise paper mache worth Rs 3.38 crore; chain stitch, and crewel worth  Rs 65.13 crore, and wood carving worth Rs 1.75 crore were exported in the last two quarters. Other handcraft products worth Rs 28.18 crore were also exported during that period.

In 2021-22, handicrafts products worth 563.13 crore were exported to different markets. Carpets topped the list with exports touching Rs 251.06 crore. It was followed by shawls and rumals with exports touching Rs 165.98 crore. 

Likewise, paper mache worth Rs 13.25 crore, chain stitch and crewel worth  Rs 79.56 crore, and wood carving worth Rs 4.20 crore were exported in the last two quarters. Other handcraft products worth Rs 49.08 crore were also exported in the last fiscal.

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