Srinagar: In a major recognition of the crafts and arts of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar City has been chosen under the UNESCO creative city network under the Crafts and Folk Arts Category.
The inclusion of Srinagar in the creative city network for the arts and crafts has paved a way for the city to represent its handicrafts on the global stage through UNESCO.
The UNESCO creative city network involves seven creative fields- arts and folk art, media, film, literature, design, gastronomy and media arts.
The dossier for nomination for Srinagar as Creative city was first filed by Srinagar in year 2019. However, only two cities Hyderabad for Gastronomy and Mumbai for Film were chosen during that year. Prior to year 2019 only three Indian cities have been recognised as members of UCCN for creative cities namely - Jaipur (Crafts and Folk Arts) in 2015, Varanasi (Creative city of Music) in 2015 and Chennai (Creative city of Music) in 2017. For the year 2020 UNESCO did not call for applications for creative city network.
Chief Executive Officer, Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project, JKERA, Dr Abid Rashid Shah, said that process of nomination of Srinagar under the UNESCO Creative City Network was undertaken and funded under the World Bank Funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project. This is the recognition of the historical Crafts and Arts of the City.
“It is a proud moment for all of us,” Dr Shah said.
“World Bank, JTFRP and Department of Industries did a remarkable job in projecting the city in this regard,” he said.
Director, Technical, Planning and Coordination, JTFRP, Iftikhaar Hakeem, said that credit must go to JTFRP, Department of Industries and line departments for taking up the task positively. He said consultants were hired and work was taken up in this regard to complete all the requirements.
“GREAT NEWS FOR SRINAGAR! #Srinagar has been inscribed as @UNESCO ‘Creative City of Art and Craft’. The the only city from India to make it to the list! Gratitude to @OfficeOfLGJandK , Ministry of Human Resource Dev, @AtharAamirKhan and INTACH Kashmir for super, focused efforts” the Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu announced on twitter.
“This opens the avenues for Srinagar for development of arts and crafts and exhibitions of arts and crafts at international level,” Mattu told Greater Kashmir while commenting on this big development.
“It is advantageous to our artisan and our rich heritage will get historical impetus because now Srinagar is one of the cities recognized by UNESCO as an art and craft city,” he added.
“It is big day for Srinagar. Srinagar has come in international limelight because of this. Now, it is the only city in entire country which made to it,” he said while replying to a query. Mattu, who has been following UNCESO to convince it for inscribing Srinagar, said that it was second attempt this year.
“We had also applied last year but could not make it. I have been following it for the past two years now. This year, I could successfully convince UNESCO after fulfilling all mandatory criteria as required under rules,” he said.
“What a proud moment for Srinagar! After sustained, collective efforts - Srinagar is now on the International Arts & Crafts Map and very prominently! Encouragement from the Hon’ble PM makes it even more special! “ Mattu wrote on Twitter later in the day.