Due to the global meltdown and state apathy, the handicrafts sector of Kashmir valley has been going through tough times for several years.
The economic slowdown has severely hit US, Europe and the Middle East – the destinations where Kashmiri handicrafts are more often than not exported – the exporters here have been not capable to acquire fresh orders for their products.
This slowdown has virtually forced the exporters to stop procuring fresh stock from traders and manufacturers. Precisely, this has in turn gravely impacted the work of entire chain from exporters down to basic craftsmen.
It is worth mention in this regard that the state intervention programme has been for creation and modernization of the handicrafts centres and skills, however, no major research and development input has been brought into the industry with the result there are certain craft species in danger of extinction and a few of them have extinguished.
The business people associated with handicrafts sector are expressing their anguish over the sorry state of affairs. “The traditional craft industry is suffering at present because of the fact that the quality products are out of the market and secondly the Kashmir brands are misused both in local and export market,” said traders association.
” We the art and craft people of Kashmir are switching to other business activities on account of stagnation in the sector. Therefore, the need of the hour is that government revamps handicrafts sector,” traders added.