STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: After the return of physical fairs at Noida Haat with Diwali Utsav last month, Kashmir craftsmen are now participating in a 11-day long Shilp Utsav from December 17 to 27 in the third and final leg of fairs which will culminate with the Christmas festival and the advent of New Year celebrations.Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions which have adversely impacted the sale of famed handicrafts and handloom products from the Valley, the Government is making strenuous efforts to provide marketing linkages to the business stakeholders to sell their product line which has assured domestic and international market. The artisans and weavers from Kashmir had earlier participated in the Diwali Utsav at Noida, which was the first physical fair after a string of lockdowns outside Jammu and Kashmir for selling their exotic range of hand-made products.In a press statement issued here today, Director, Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir, Mussarat Islam, stated that while efforts were on to provide digital platforms like virtual fairs and e-marketplaces to craft entrepreneurs to connect to online buyers, the Government will continue to facilitate their participation in physical fairs in view of the surge in demand for hand-made woollen products from Kashmir in winters. “There is a huge demand for Pashmina and Kani shawls and stoles, rugs and carpets, crewel, tweed and the traditional designer Kashmiri long robe, the Pheran, in winters. We are hopeful that our artisans and weavers will do good business during the Shilp Utsav at Noida,” he added.In a major relief to the artisans and weavers, the Government shall bear the cost of stall rentals at Noida Haat on behalf of the participants in a bid to provide them an opportunity to revive their businesses. Around 40 artisans, weavers and craft entrepreneurs from Kashmir were picked by the Handicrafts & Handloom Department from a draw of lots following receipt of a large number of applications from interested participants.A team of officials from the Handicrafts and Handloom Department Kashmir has also been deputed to Noida to facilitate and handhold the participants, the statement added.The organizers at Noida Haat have taken all measures to meet safety and hygiene standards to ensure a safe and sanitized environment for the participants and visitors. In order to increase footfall of visitors, food courts, cultural events, gaming and entertainment zones have been arranged by the organizers.
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