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Srinagar gears up to embrace ‘World Craft City’ tag

The participants of the meeting included prominent dealers and showroom owners from the Srinagar-Narbal-Tangmarg-Gulmarg tourist corridor.

Srinagar gears up to embrace ‘World Craft City’ tag

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Following Srinagar’s prestigious recognition as a World Craft City, Director Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir, on Tuesday convened an important meeting to gear up for embracing the recognition.

The participants of the meeting included prominent dealers and showroom owners from the Srinagar-Narbal-Tangmarg-Gulmarg tourist corridor.

The stakeholders were urged to avoid malpractices and misbranding of handmade products, specifically warning against selling and marketing machine-made merchandise under the handmade tag.

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This practice has led to considerable mistrust and erosion of the “Brand Kashmir”.

Despite the department’s best efforts and the submission of undertakings by showroom owners to promote GI-certified products and properly tag machine-made merchandise, violations continue to be reported.

The department has received several complaints about showroom owners paying hefty commissions to taxi operators directing tourists to their shops, potentially misleading customers about the authenticity of the products.

The Director stressed the need for transparency and urged the promotion of GI-certified and labeled products.

The meeting also served as a platform to discuss and strategize initiatives for promoting and strengthening the handicrafts sector.

Emphasis was placed on cultural preservation and finding ways for dealers to help eliminate violations, such as selling machine-made products, misrepresenting origins and using substandard materials. The department warned that it would be taking strict action against those not adhering to the rules governing the sector.

The Dir emphasized that the global recognition is not just an honor but a powerful validation of the artisans’ centuries-old legacy.

The focus now is to leverage this recognition to expand international exposure for Kashmiri handicrafts, strengthen the economic status of artisans, and safeguard cultural heritage.

The department has been lately emphasizing the promotion of genuine handmade products and is working tirelessly to transform Srinagar’s recognition into substantial benefits for the local community, ensuring the continued flourishing of Srinagar’s handicrafts sector post its declaration as a creative city in the field of Crafts and Folk Arts, in addition to earning the World Craft City tag from the World Crafts Council.

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