Artisans urge Omar Abdullah Government to revive heritage art emporium

   May 8, 5:07 pm

Srinagar, May 8 (ANI): In a bid to revive traditional art and culture that would provide an impetus to the tourism industry, artisans in Jammu and Kashmir urged the state government to restore a heritage art emporium.

The 46-year-old Craft Development Centre (CDC) situated in the heart of summer capital, Srinagar, became non-functional in 1998 due to lack of funds, affecting the carpet industry and leaving hundreds of the weavers unemployed.

A local artisan, Jeelani Ahmad said that the government should work on the revival of the old glory of the emporium by providing sufficient funds.

"The government art emporium has lost its importance due to lack of financial support, since long. As it is situated in the heart of Srinagar city, it should have been utilized in some good constructive work. It should be handed over to some other department, which can make use of this place, may be after selling this land they may get enough funds, which will help to revive and upgrade the government art emporium," said Ahmad.

The artisans further expressed their ire over the lack of financial support and negligence on the part of the provincial government.

"If it is maintained properly, it can become an attractive point for the tourists and provide a boost to the handicraft industry. We are also surprised to see that no one pays attention to this. There is a strong need that government should pay attention towards it," said Muhammad Yaqoob, another artisan,

The locals said that if the government works towards the maintenance of the art emporium then it would provide a boost to the tourism industry as well as solve the problem of unemployment.

"It is very unfortunate to see the emporium in this condition as we used to hear from our elders that it used to be a heritage building where artisans were trained for carpet weaving and many other training programmes were conducted. Today this building has fallen into ruin through sheer neglect. There are very few employees working here. If the government works towards it then it can solve the problem of unemployment and will also provide a boost to tourism industry and revive our traditional art and cultural heritage," said Rizwan Ahmad, a local.

The centre which is a manufacturing unit of J and K Handicraft (Sales and Export) Corporation Limited was established in 1996 to promote the traditional art and craft of the province.

The situated at Fateh Kadal Namchibal, Srinagar and has become a grazing field for the animals.

The traditional art and craft of the region including embroidery, chain stitching, carpet weaving has suffered a major setback due the closure of the centre. (ANI)

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