Srinagar: Amid relaxation in the Covid-19 lockdown, Kashmir Haat has turned into a centre of attraction for the visitors.
With 68 stalls displaying varied handicraft items and two food courts serving different cuisines, visitors find it hard to resist these attractions.
The Lieutenant Governor administration’s decision to organize Craft Mela at Kashmir Haat has provided succour to scores of artisans and dealers who have got an opportunity to sell their products. At the same time, people from Srinagar and other districts are thronging the place along their families for leisure.
“It is a wonderful initiative by the LG administration to throw open Kashmir Haat and organize a craft mela which has provided us an opportunity to purchase handicraft items at the same time relish the cuisines on display at food courts,” said Insha Aziz a Srinagar resident. On Saturday, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha inaugurated a 15-day long Craft Mela at Kashmir Haat.
The opening of Kashmir Haat and organizing the Craft Mela have also got tremendous applause from the handicraft artisans as well as traders as it has provided them a market to sell their stuff.
“For last one year our business is in doldrums but with the decision of LG administration to organize a craft mela where we have been provided space to sell our products has given us a new lease of life,” said Ajaz Ahmad, a handicraft trader, adding that the “public response is good and people are enjoying their visit to Kashmir Haat.”
Bashir Ahmad, a Pashmina trader, said that he was able to sell his products during the last two days at the Haat. “People are coming to us and buying products, which is a good thing for artisans. Government must continue to organize these events which ensure direct interaction between buyers and sellers.”
Manager, Central Market (incharge Kashmir Haat) Fayaz Ahmad said that this event has given an opportunity to the handicraft artisans, dealers to showcase their products to the locals as well as tourists who visit the Haat for recreational activities.
“We have 68 handicraft stalls, two food courts, two food operations, and recreational activities. The cultural shows and musical events by local artisans are wooing people in large numbers,” he said. Kashmir Haat was revamped to provide the best ambience to the locals and visiting tourists for crafts, food, and cultural activities.
People can explore the mystical world of Kashmiri art and savour the unique flavours of delightful local cuisines, he added.
Lt Governor Sinha during an inauguration function said: "We aim to empower handicraft, handloom artisans and improve living standards of present and future generations of our artists. With endeavours like revamping the Kashmir Haat, we are strengthening our commitment to providing market support to local artisans and weavers."
With Amusement cum Children Park coming up soon in it, Kashmir Haat will be one of the most attracting places in Srinagar, the Lt Governor maintained.
The Lt Governor also spoke about the Government’s plans to open a similar Haat in Jammu that will showcase the rich, varied handicraft tradition of the region.
As per officials, the Craft Mela will provide a platform to the Artisans, Weavers & Cooperative societies to showcase the best of Kashmir handicrafts.
Traditional musical display and live demonstration of artistic skills by School of Designs, Srinagar is one of the main attractions of the mela. It is pertinent to mention here that there have been no regular cultural activities at Kashmir Haat except a few occasional events. However, it is being transformed into a Craft and Food Bazaar similar to the ambience provided by Delhi Haat in the national capital.
The initiative will help in tapping best of the talents in art and craft and revive the age-old tradition of village market in Srinagar.