The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has conferred the prestigious Ajay Shanker Memorial Award to J&K’s Handicrafts & Handloom Department and three business firms for its contribution in the promotion of export of exotic handicraft products from Jammu and Kashmir.The awards, given in the memory of former Development Commissioner, Handicrafts, were presented during a glittering valedictory function of the 49th IHGF Delhi Fair, Virtual Edition, today.EPCH gave away the awards to the Handicrafts & Handloom Department and the craft exporters in ‘Best Virtual Booth’ category under J&K Pavilion during the fair. The winners in this category were Mr. Saqib from M/S Chinar Valley Arts for papier machie, Mr. Ishfaq Shah from Venoo’s Furniture for walnut wood furniture and Mr. Ali Mohammad Shakzaz from M/S Ramzan & Sons for willow wicker.The virtual fair has come as a shot in the arm for J&K’s handicrafts industry amidst the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 7000 queries generated from global buyers. The hits shall be transferred to the exporters and can also be accessed by them in their mailboxes shared in their e-portfolios.In a statement, Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Director General, EPCH, said the thematic display of crafts of Jammu and Kashmir during the 49th IHGF Fair will boost export of a vast product range of traditional crafts made out of eco-friendly and natural materials with rich craftsmenship, which are in great demand in India and overseas.
Director, Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir, Mr. Mussarat Islam, thanked the EPCH for organizing the Virtual Fair to overcome the adverse impact on exports due to Covid-19 pandemic and also his team of officers for having made all the arrangements at a very short notice. He also credited the successful participation of exporters from Jammu & Kashmir to the Commissioner/ Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Mr. Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, for authorizing the Department to sponsor the craft exporters in the EPCH Fair and India Carpet Expo being organized by Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) next month.Congratulating the winners, the Director urged the craft exporters to venture into e- business by improving their portfolios comprising company address and product profiles, high-definition self-video and that of the unit and innovative e-catalogues so that they have fully-loaded virtual showrooms available online. He also expressed gratitude to the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) for extending its whole-hearted support in organizing the virtual fair.As many as 38 craft entrepreneurs and exporters from Jammu and Kashmir participated in the first-of-its-kind virtual fair organized by EPCH linking them directly to a large number of online buyers. The fair gave them a wonderful opportunity to display their exquisite range of genuine handmade products, which have mesmerized people from all over the world.The EPCH fair was a grand success with over 1500 manufacturers and exporters participating in the digital mode and displaying more than 2000 product expressions.