Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir, today observed the National Handloom Day, held every year on August 7 in honour of the handloom weavers and also to highlight the country’s handloom industry.The day also seeks to focus on the contribution of handloom sector towards socio-economic development and increase in the income of weavers.To commemorate the National Handloom Day, the Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir, participated in a function organized through video conferencing by the Union Ministry of Textiles in which Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, e-launched the National Handloom Day celebrations. The Textiles Ministry launched a mobile application for ‘Handloom Brand’ as well as #Vocal4Handmade hashtag for promotion of handloom products, which was inspired by the Prime Minister’s call for propagating the social media campaign of ‘Vocal for Local’ so that the world is introduced to the richness and diversity of our exquisite hand-made products.During the function, the Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Irani also announced the launch of ‘myhandloom portal’ to promote digital cooperative federalism in the country.In a separate function organized at Kashmir Haat here today to commemorate the occasion, Director Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir, Mussarat Islam, urged the civil society members, youth and working class to buy handloom and handicraft products in order to provide succour to the weavers and artisans who are distressed in the times of Covid-19 pandemic. He said the department will intensify the ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign to reach out to the artisans and weavers by connecting them with potential buyers and motivating different sections of the society in supplementing the efforts of the Government in increasing sales and improved profits for handloom weavers.
Approximately 50,000 weavers are involved in weaving of pashmina and kani shawls, jamawars, tweed, stoles, scarves and mufflers which are exported to various destinations across the world.The Director said concerted efforts are being made to make principal stakeholders aware about various Government schemes like Mudra loans, National Handloom Development Programme, Artisan Credit Card and Centrally-sponsored schemes so that they are able to avail the benefits envisaged under these programmes. He said efforts are being made to bridge the gap between local artisans, technology and marketplaces by using platforms like virtual fairs to counter the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.In July last month, as many as 40 craft entrepreneurs from J&K participated in the EPCH’s 49th IHGF Virtual Fair in which a large number of business queries from online buyers were generated.The artisans and weavers were also urged to come forward and form Self Help Groups and Cooperatives to avail the financial support announced by the Government to overcome the adverse impact of Covid-19 on their businesses.Joint Director, Handloom, Kashmir, Nargis Suraya, Joint Director, Handicrafts, Kashmir, Abdul Majeed Lone, Deputy Director, Handicrafts & Handloom, Deeba Khalid, and Publicity-cum-Exhibition Officer, Riyaz Ahmad, besides other senior officers and staff members of the Department attended the function.