The hands that craft

The high end economy represented in the present era by the industries like IT form the substance of today’s economy. The countries that are ahead in this sector have a robust economy. Likewise other industries, like pharmaceuticals, locomotives, and construction materials, also contribute hugely to the global economy. But these heavy and high end industries are mostly in the developed part of the world. They are the ones who rule this sphere of human activity. In a society like ours, the majority of the people are consumers. That is one huge drawback of our economy. But we have some traditional economic activities that give strength to our economy. Of these, the handicraft sector is known for its contribution to the people’s economy. For how many decades, or centuries, we have been earning through this medium of production.  Even in this era, where machines have taken over everything long back, we still have thousands of families in Srinagar alone, who eke out their living through this activity. So it is important that this sector is taken care of and means and methods are devised so that people associated with this sector perform well. But for past some time we have seen that handicrafts business is taking a huge hit. There are some reasons that are obvious and can be addressed if some serious attention is paid. This sector was largely dependant on tourism, as the people coming from outside would by the products from various retail outlets in Kashmir. Since tourism was affected like never before the handicrafts business was bound to suffer. The people who are associated with this sector and the government departments that are directly or indirectly connected to it, should look into the ways of marketing that can end the over dependence of handicrafts on tourism. In this era of globalisation, and now online business, it should not be difficult to expand the market for the products fashioned by these skilful artists. If some professionals are roped in, and some business houses are consulted, there is no reason why this economic activity wouldn’t grow. Of course, the artisans need to add value to their products keeping in view the changing tastes and preferences of today’s buyer.