‘Carpet industry needs better infra’

Swiss agency hosts workshop on carpet weaving


Srinagar, Nov 19: A Switzerland-based agency held a daylong workshop on “Managing Threats and Opportunities in Hand Knotted Carpets through Corporate Social Responsibility” here.
 The event organized by Label STEP Max Havelaar Foundation (Switzerland) was attended by a good number of exporters and manufacturers of handmade carpets. The local entrepreneurs at the seminar said there was a need to provide better working environment and wages to carpet weavers, “who mostly go unnoticed and get minimum wages.”
 The event was attended by Rauf Ahmad Punjabi of Handicrafts Export Corporation, Habibullah Bhat President – All Kashmir Carpet Manufacturers & Traders Association, Haji Hafizullah Khan (Village Carpets), Feroz Ahmad Shah (Shah Carpets), Ghulam Muhammad Bhat, Haji Ghulam Nabi Dar (Umoar Carpets), Muhammad Amin Shah (Shah Carpets), Reyaz Ahmad Dar (Akbar & Sons), Umar Sadiq (Ferozsons Exports, Natasha Rather (IGSSS-Indo-Global Social Services Society), Khursheed Ahmad (IGSSS), Sanjay Vijaivargia (CSR Consultant – Label STEP), Arif Hussain Hella (Social Auditor Kashmir -Label STEP) and Mayank Srivastava (Country Representative India - Label STEP).
 Some of the entrepreneurs who couldn’t attend the workshop spoke on phone to express their views. These included Sheikh Ashiq of Ferozsons and MD Mirza of Mirza sons.  
 In his message, Sheikh Ashiq said the time has come when carpet weavers need to be given “better working environment and wages.” He said there was need for better infrastructure in carpet industry. “We need to come up with infrastructure where the weavers come to their workplace equipped with best ergonomic conditions, work from 10 to 5 and at the end of the month earn handsome wages,” he said.
 All Kashmir Carpet Manufacturers & Traders Association President lamented the “poor market situation and suggested some ways of improving the same through the efforts of the state.”
 “The morale of the weavers is very low and that needs some boost,” he added.
 Mayank Srivastava (Country Representative India - Label STEP) while talking to Greater Kashmir on the sidelines of the seminar said “Label STEP is an international labelling initiative in the hand made carpet sector.”
 “It is operational in 4 production countries and 11 carpet production countries,” he said.
 “Since the last year, Label STEP has been carrying out a research on the topics and now wishes to share its findings with the exporters at large,” he said.
 Srivastava informed that the purpose of the workshop was to mobilize exporters and manufacturers of hand made carpets to come together to fight for the interests of the most vulnerable segment of the carpet production chain.
 “The participants discussed several issues affecting the industry. The discussions were summarized into 5 core areas – diminishing weavers, poor working and living conditions of the weavers, uncertain prices and supplies of the basic raw material, normal trade shocks and brand equity,” he said.
 He also hailed the Alkhuddam people for lending a helping hand in making the event a success.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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