Handicrafts is the lifeline of Kashmir economy. Facts and figures testify, after agriculture,this sector is one of the main contributors to the economy of the state. Providing employment directly to about a million people and indirectly supplementing the income of millions more, this sector survived against odds and sustained economy of the state during difficult times. Contrary to expectations, despite radical fall in tourist traffic to Kashmir valley, there was four hundred percent increase in exports of handicrafts after manufactures started exporting directly to outside markets. Studies indicate that handicrafts mainly sustained the economy during the turmoil. But axing one’s own feet unscrupulous traders are playing havoc with this important sector of the state economy by selling machine made shawls, carpets and other goods in the name of Kashmir handicrafts. Some traders are brazenly marketing shawls manufactured in Punjab and other states as Kashmir handicrafts at all major tourist spots.
It is ironic that some traders have been marketing wood carving items manufactured in states as far as Tamil Nadu as Kashmir walnut w o o d c a r v i n g s . Some years back the carpet exports from the state sharply declined when some manufacturers marketed staple carpets as silk carpets. More than the state handicrafts department doing something to salvage the carpet industry it were the manufactures themselves who woke up and started campaign against the unscrupulous within the trading fraternity. If ‘faking’ Kashmir handicrafts continues like this the day does not seem far away when the state will be losing billion dollar worth artisan driven industry. Both the government and traders associations including the Chamber of Commerce have so far been only making noise without doing anything substantial for checking this menace. They need to move ahead and take some practical steps. Also, it is high time for the government to wake up and mobilize the handicrafts department empowered to quality control, and enforcement wing of the tourism department to come with heavy hand against the unscrupulous handicrafts vendors selling fakes in the name of Kashmir handicrafts.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 17 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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