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5th Craft Safari traverses Down Town

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Srinagar: Recognised as the UNESCO’s Creative City in the field of Craft and Folk Art, Srinagar today witnessed the fifth craft Safari.

The Safari started from Ranawari and included a team of the officers from the Handicrafts and Handloom Department including its Director, Intellectuals, Academic Scholars, Journalists, Tour operators, Students and people from other fields.

The starting point of the safari was the Pottery unit of Mohammad Rafiq Kumar. The group was mesmerised to see the craft. The participants were made aware about the efforts that the Department is making to revive the pottery craft.

Rain failed to stop the march of the team to the Silverware unit of Shamim Ahmad who has more than 30 years spent in the art of creating fascinating hand-crafted silver ornaments.

Shamim, a master artisan associated with creating antique designs and classic silverware patterns, his collections are exported and admired by connoisseurs across the globe.

After traversing the lanes and by lanes the team then reached to the Wood Carving unit of Farooq Ahmad Gadyari, whose unit is an epitome of ornamental and delicate craft process that is unique to Kashmir.

The products of the unit present visually interesting effects with carving intricacies and varied designs. The motifs on the wooden artifacts are inspired from the various natural wonders of Kashmir, Chinar leaves, Vine leaves, flowers like Lotus and Rose.

Then afterwards the elegant treasure of Copperware was witnessed by the team in the unit of Mohammad Ashraf Najar. Copperware has been an indispensable commodity in Kashmir since ages and the artisans associated with this particular craft are known for their work of engraving and for making household and decorative products. The designs have evolved a level up in the copperware as more people are showing interest in copper utensils owing to their benefits.

The team felt nostalgic at the Namda unit of Mohammad Sidiq. Felting the wool rather than weaving it, makes Namda unique. The participants were taken aback after realizing the processes that make a complete Namda.

The fifth edition of safari concluded by the visiting team to Zari unit of Nazir Ahmed Malla. Zari embroidery is done with fine needles. Zari thread of gold or silver is laid upon the fabric that makes it a master piece.

At the end of the safari the Director Handicrafts & Handloom Kashmir briefed the media about the efforts the Department is doing to promote the crafts such as pottery, Silverware, Namda and Zari both at domestic and National Level assuring the fraternity that such tours will continue in future as well.

Iqbal suggests assigning this task to some Resources Persons (RPs) for imparting knowledge of financial management at block or panchayat level for a better outcome. He adds that university students studying the Financial Management courses should also be encouraged to play their role in this direction.

Iqbal paid his gratitude to Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha for giving consideration to his suggestions. He says, “I’m highly thankful to LG Sahib for incorporating my suggestion in his address.” “Exuding hope he says, “It is a great honour for us to have availability of such a platform to present our views even to Lieutenant Governor.”

He also opines that the program Awam ki Awaaz is a great platform by which common people can share their suggestions and can become part of policy making for the first time in the history of J&K.

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