Winter Capital, Srinagar has made it to the coveted list of United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Arts and Crafts for the year 2021.The Dossier for the UNESCO creative cities network list had been prepared under the Restoration & Strengthening of Livelihoods component of the World Bank funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project. The preparation of the Dossier was started under Jhelum TawiFlood Recovery Project in the year 2018 and a consultancy namely (Intach- Drona JV) was hired for the purpose after undertaking the consultation process with all the concerned stakeholders like Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Department of Industries & Commerce, Department of Handicrafts, Artisans & Craftsmen, trade bodies etc. “It’s a moment of immense satisfaction for the artisan community as the enlisting of Srinagar in UNESCO Creative Cities Network would bring Srinagar on the international platform and expand markets for our crafts” says Mehmooda an artisan associated with crewel cluster at Noorbagh, Srinagar.“The designation of Srinagar City in UNESCO Creative cities would give a big push to marketing of Kashmir as a major tourist destination globally and it is expected that more and more tourists across would visit Kashmir in future and give a much needed flip to tourist industry in valley” said Ashiq Khurro associated with tourist industry.
Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Chief Executive Officer JKERA/JTFRP said that it is a moment of immense satisfaction for all of us that only three cities at National level have made it to the UNESCO list and Srinagar is one of them” . He said that “Lieutenant Governor, Shri Manoj Sinha has taken a personal interest in the matter and it’s because of his guidance that this unique recognition has been achieved”.CEO ERA/JTFRP added that under the World Bank funded, JTFRP efforts were being made vigorously since 2019 to bring our arts and crafts on the international platform so that our artisans and crafts get the credit and recognition. It has been collective effort of the various departments with Dept. of Industries & Commerce playing the major role along with Srinagar Municipal Corporation, and Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.“It is very heartening for the entire World Bank team that Srinagar has been able to bag a position in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network list under the World Bank funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project” said Mr Deepak Singh ,Deputy Team Leader World Bank for JTFRP.
Iftikhar Hakim, Director, Planning & Coordination JTFRP said that its is a moment of rejoice for the all the citizens of Srinagar City and stakeholders particularly Artisans and distinction has been achieved due to the tireless efforts of all the stakeholders who continued their hard work despite not being able to get to the list in our first attempt in 2019. “We reworked on the Dossier this year and redrafted Dossier had been submitted by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Hard work and perseverance of all the stakeholders has been paid in the end with the Srinagar finally making it to the coveted list” Iftikhar Hakim said.Mehmood Ahmad Shah, Director Handicrafts &Handlooms, said “Main aim of the initiative is to glorify all the Artisans and as part of the promotion of our arts and crafts we are adopting a multipronged brand strategy which includes an ideal market mix of Handmade with Art, Authenticity, Testing and G.I tagging of various crafts.Salim Beigh, Convener, INTACH private limited a consultancy which has prepared a Dossier said “Every City has its uniqueness in creative domain and UNESCO cities Network is an initiative to bring unique creative aspects on a global platform” He also said that under the Dossier we have made various commitments which are to be fulfilled and continuous assessment of these need to be followed up.