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Artwork by Department of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir (Photo/ANI)
Artwork by Department of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir (Photo/ANI)

J-K's handicrafts industry reviving with govt efforts

ANI | Updated: Feb 06, 2022 14:04 IST

Riyadh [Saudi Arabia], February 6 (ANI): Handicrafts are making a comeback in Jammu and Kashmir, thanks to the government's efforts over the last two years to breathe fresh life into the traditional arts and crafts that have long been a part of the Himalayan region's culture.
Jammu and Kashmir, an Indian Union Territory (UT) is a popular tourist destination.
Following the devastation caused by Pakistan backed terrorism in J-K, this essential industry, which employed thousands of people, took the brunt of the fighting.
The handicrafts industry was damaged but now with the efforts put in by the government, the industry is reviving.
New Delhi sanctioned Rs 2 crore for the procurement of Pashmina for artisans and weavers following which the J-K government directed the Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited (SICOP), reported Saudi Gazette.
Also, in August 2021, the J-K government unveiled the 'Karkhandar' (entrepreneurs) scheme to give a fresh lease of life to the craft scene in Jammu and Kashmir and especially to the languishing crafts.
Under the scheme, the meritorious trainees are given Rs 2,000/month as honorarium and the trainer gets Rs 2000/month for each trainee and plus Rs 25,000/- for logistics, raw materials among others, as per Saudi Gazette.

Furthermore, the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom has been organizing back-to-back exhibitions for the J-K artisans in different parts of the country.
J-K handicrafts are not limited to shawls and carpets; craftsmen in the Union Territory produce a broad range of goods, including paper machie work, wood carving, willow work, namda, chain stitch, and sozni, among others.
UT's handcrafted items are well-known worldwide and have a large market. There are around 2.50 lakh craftsmen in J-K who rely only on handicrafts for their living.
Furthermore, this industry has a lot of room for growth in terms of employment prospects. In Kashmir, there are 16 distinct crafts with which around 60 per cent of families are directly or indirectly engaged.
According to Saudi Gazette, there are around 4 to 5 lakh craftsmen and 179 significant craft clusters linked with the handicraft sector of J-K, which generates an income of more than a thousand crore rupees.
Moreover, J-K's handicrafts are world-renowned, and the traditional handicraft business has grown into a significant sector. The government has given the industry top focus because of its substantial employment base and export possibilities.
Carpet weaving, silks, shawls, basketry, ceramics, copper and silverware, paper-mache, and walnut wood are just a few of the small-scale and cottage industries that the UT is known for. (ANI)