Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Kashmiri artisans for their efforts in reviving the Namda craft as the first batch of Namda art products has been successfully exported to the United Kingdom (UK).
Reacting to a news report about the export of Namda from India to the UK, PM Modi, in a tweet, said that the revival of the craft was great news for the heritage of the region.
“Delighted that Kashmir’s centuries-old ‘Namda’ craft is reviving and now reaching global shores after years! This is a testament to our artisans’ skills and resilience. This revival is great news for our rich heritage,” he said.
Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday flagged off the first batch of Namda art products for export to the UK.
The Namda craft of Kashmir is being successfully revived under Skill India’s Pilot Project as part of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), with nearly 2200 candidates from across six districts of J&K receiving training in the dying art form.
Director of the project-executing agency, Adil Mir said, “It is a great sign for the revival of Namda craft. The first batch of Namda art products has been successfully shipped to the UK. We have trained scores of artisans across Kashmir, which helped in the revival of the craft.”
Officials said that the project sets a great example of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in the field of skill development, as it was being implemented in collaboration with the local industry partners.
Under this initiative, nearly 2200 candidates have been trained in the art of Namda craft, representing a significant milestone in preserving this traditional craft and empowering the local weavers and artisans.
The project has successfully trained individuals across six districts of Kashmir – Srinagar, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Budgam, and Anantnag.
Namda craft is a rug made of sheep wool through the felting technique instead of the normal weaving process.
Due to the low availability of raw materials, lack of skilled manpower and marketing techniques, the export of this craft declined by almost 100 percent between 1998 and 2008.
So, through this special project under PMKVY, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has designed a short-term training curriculum to preserve this endangered craft.
The project has been implemented in 25 batches in three cycles of training.
Each training programme was approximately three-and-half months, which resulted in the cycles being completed in approximately 14 to 16 months.
The Namda Project is an industry-based training programme with beneficiaries involved in Namda crafts production, who would contribute towards preserving and reviving the rich heritage associated with Namda craft in Kashmir.
“This would also improve the access of existing artisans of the Namda crafts cluster in Kashmir and improve their prospects of employability,” officials said. “The government’s commitment to skilling, reskilling, and upskilling India’s youth remains steadfast under the visionary leadership of PM Modi. The successful implementation of this pilot project in J&K, with the support of local industry partners such as Mir Handicrafts and Srinagar Carpet Training and Market Centre, exemplifies the power of PPP in driving skill development and attracting investments for economic development.”
Congratulating on the achievement, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “We had introduced the Namda Project in 2021, and it is extremely satisfying to see the outcome that perfectly aligns with our PM’s vision of ‘Naya Bharat, Naye Avsar, Nayi Samridhi’ which emphasises that skilling is about creating new opportunities, and new prosperities as a small part of this large effort taken by the artisans, and the Handicrafts Sector Skill Council.”
The minister extended his best wishes for a tremendous amount of success and prosperity of this art.
He also said that it was a proud moment to achieve this milestone.
Chandrasekhar said the Namda Project exemplifies an extremely satisfying and defining outcome of PM Modi’s vision for Skill India, which was about empowering people and creating opportunities.