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Pashmina to Khatamband: Handicrafts dept to make social media debut for promoting Kashmir arts

Srinagar: In an effort to promote local artisans and take their products to a wider audience across the globe, the Department of Handicrafts and Handlooms Kashmir will soon be launching its social media handles.

Through these handles, the department will stream films on Kashmiri crafts and also share other relevant information that will fill the missing links between the local artisans and huge market potential globally.

“We are all set to launch our social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We will stream films on handicrafts and handlooms and there will be a lot of other related information related to the sector. We already have a lot of content and there is a lot of scope in this field. The social media handles will promote crafts, artisans, master trainers, national awardees, tradesman, etc,” Director, Handicrafts, and Handloom, Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah told The Kashmir Monitor.

He said the department was in the process of making a comprehensive database of artisans in Jammu and Kashmir. The database is being created by the M/S Spectrum Planning India Pvt Ltd which has been hired by the Project Management Unit under the Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.

Details of around 2.75 lakh artisans and weavers have already been generated and the project is expected to be completed by April 2021.

“The aim of the exercise is to enlist the artisans in the database that will be linked to the international market and the policies will be developed for the benefit and welfare of the artisans,” he added.

The department is planning to promote products of entire J&K that include copperware, walnut wood, Pashmina, Sozni embroidery, Kani Shawl Art, Bashoni Pashmina, chain stitch embroidery, along with Papier Mache, Khatamband, Kal Baffi, Basohli Paintings, tweed jackets, and Kishtwari Loi.

Art researcher Wiqar Bashir said there were missing links between the local artisans and the global art market that needed to be filled up.

“There is immense scope for handicraft and handloom products but there are several missing links. The sector needs out of box ideas and it also needs to improve branding. The artisans are skilled but they need to be connected to the outside world. The department can hire pass outs from reputed crafts institutes as advisors and consultants….for example, those who have done MBA in fashion designing or crafts management. They can help in filling the missing links,” Wiqar told The Kashmir Monitor.