Craft Safari enters its 6th edition
Srinagar: Srinagar city is a consecrated land, flourishing with lively arts and crafts. Each craft has its exclusive story to tell. The treasure of endless natural beauty has led to a unique synthesis of various themes, which is clearly visible in the unique arts and crafts tradition in the city. Kathi Darwaza proudly opens its panes to scores of golden handicrafts’ hands of the Srinagar region. The area is famous for its varied range of handicrafts made using the best traditional techniques to create masterpieces.
The officers from the Handicrafts and Handloom Department, Intellectuals, Academic Scholars, Journalists, Tour operators, Students and people from other art loving fields formed today’s vibrant team to start the safari from the workplace of Mir Abdul Majeed, a master artisan in Aari Embroidery craft. The team visited the workplaces of Mohammad Aslam Khan of Sozni Craft, Pashmina Rafugari unit of Mushtaq Ahmad Jan, Pashmina Spinning unit of Khadija and Fahmida, Unique Handloom Cottage Industry of Pashmina Weaving and concluding at the Moikashni unit of Basharat Ahmad.
Srinagar has been recognised as the UNESCO’s Creative City in the field of Craft and Folk Art in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) with the aim to strengthen cooperation with and among cities that have recognized creativity as a strategic factor of sustainable development as regards economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects.
Craft Safari, a unique initiative from the department of Handicrafts & Handloom Kashmir, aims to strengthen the international cooperation between Srinagar and rest of the World for the sustainable development and enhancement initiatives to make creativity an essential component of the development, notably through partnerships involving the public and private sectors and civil society.
Director Handicrafts & Handloom who is instrumental in organising the craft safaris strengthened the commitment of the department to make Srinagar lead an example for the rest of Kashmir Division to witness development of hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for the artisans in the handicraft sector by improving the access to and participation in cultural life as well as the enjoyment of cultural goods and services of the artisans who are marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals.
This module of organising the Craft Safaris by the department specifies ways for the handicraft producers on how to become better integrated in the tourism value chain in order to increase their income, and to provide facilitators with the know-how to develop sustainable business linkages between handicraft producers and tourism markets. Srinagar is globally renowned for attracting a large number of international visitors, the tourism sector, therefore offers many opportunities for the artisans to sell handicrafts, as tourists spend significant amounts of money on souvenirs and other craft products.