SRINAGAR: Expressing concerns over the “concerted efforts” to damage the Kashmiri handicrafts industry, Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Tuesday said serious steps need to be taken to eliminate the causes responsible for gradual decline of the Valley’s traditional arts and skills.
“Copper craft is slowly being eroded due to the anti-craftsmen policies pursued by the authorities. The issues and problems faced by the people in copper industry are of serious concern, and it is important to provide security to the skilled workers of this industry to save this age old industry from extinction,” a press statement from Hurriyat (M) said, quoting Mirwaiz’s meeting with a delegation of cooper workers led by their union leader Mohammad Yousuf Kakru.
“If the causes behind gradual decline of the Valley’s traditional arts and skills aren’t eliminated, an important sources of livelihood to thousands of skilled people would end, besides leading to the strangulation of one of the important source of Kashmir’s economic stability,” it added.
The workers, according to the statement, stated that some miscreants were selling machine-made copper utensils as handmade products while the copper products imported from outside the state have been endangering the livelihood of skilled workers associated with the industry. They said the ban on use of the machines wasn’t having any effect, it said.
“On listening to their grievances, Mirwaiz stated the conditions are being created to discourage the skilled workers engaged in the profession of the handmade copper utensils,” the statement said, adding that he assured the workers that he would raise their issues at all platforms.