Review of UNESCO Creative City for Srinagar held by Dir H&H

SRINAGAR: The Director Handicrafts & Handloom Kashmir today held a meeting focussed to review the progress of different activities undertaken for the promotion of the crafts post inclusion of Srinagar city in the UNESCO Creative Cities Networks in the field of Craft and Folk Art. Stake holders, officers and all those involved in the provision of services to the art and craft sector participated in the meeting.
The Director Handicrafts & Handloom took review of the activities from the concerned officers and gave on the spot directions to gear up the departmental men and machinery to outshine as a model city in the field of art and craft. The department in the year 2020-21, disbursed an amount of Rs. 99.5 Lakh to the 199 Industrial Cooperative Societies and subsequently in the year 2021-22 an amount of Rs. 284.0 L was disbursed to 568 Industrial Cooperatives alone in District Srinagar. Under the Karkhandar Scheme meant for the development of the Craft Sector an amount to the tune of 16.20 Lakh was incurred on 5 Languishing crafts and 4 under other crafts in the Srinagar district to provide fresh impetus to the craft industry, especially to the languishing crafts. Besides these the meeting was briefed that 46 elementary and 17 advance training centres are presently functional from the district. The department has recently introduced the export subsidy of 10% for the exporters registered with the department. Under the Artisan/Weaver Credit Card Scheme 723 cases were sponsored and an amount of Rs. 650.74 Lakh was sanctioned in Srinagar during the year 2021-22.
Focussed on properly curated programmes to showcase the art and crafts of Srinagar, it was decided to achieve the approved decisions in a time bound manner. Under the programme besides the skill upgradation and financial assistance to the artisans, the heritage house at Zainakadal/Aalikadal vicinity of the city Centre is being converged into a craft centre for its adaptive reuse. Two clusters viz a viz Crewel/Chain Stitch Craft Cluster at Noorbagh and Paper Machie Craft Cluster at Zadibal have been set up covering 22 SHGs of 250 artisans.
It was decided in the meeting that a craft curated exhibition is likely to come up at Srinagar in the first week of October wherein the contemporary crafts of Srinagar shall be put on display.
The scheduled exhibition showcasing the rich, antique, contemporary and rare artefacts besides the craft stories shall be the main focus of the programme. Moreover, the department shall also host a photography exhibition depicting the craft scroll to live pivotal moments and provide a platform to understand the progression of the practice to connect with the craft community.
The Convener INTACH J&K Chapter who is a member of the programme also put forth his suggestions to take on board all the stakeholders to work in a tandem to acquire this unique opportunity in a manner that the benefits be reaped for the inhabitants of Kashmir valley in the long run.

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