Kashmir Valley is known for its arts and crafts world over. And this special talent of the people has not received the name and fame it deserves. Since Srinagar city has been recognized in the UNESCO creative city network in the field of Craft and Folk Art the showcasing of our art and craft becomes all the more important.
For promoting and showcasing the arts and crafts a novel idea of initiating Craft safari is a welcome move. Jammu and Kashmir in general and Srinagar in particular is the richest place in terms of cultural heritage as it has an everlasting collection of arts and crafts.
The hand crafted artifacts hold the pride of being personal artistic expressions, symbols of heritage, identity and sources of livelihood for the artisans. On the other hand, these artifacts form a significant part to facilitate household chores, souvenirs, a source of beauty and a mark of refined taste.
The safari initiative started by the department of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir involved officials from the Handicrafts and Handloom Department, Intellectuals, Academic Scholars, Journalists, Tour Operators, Students and other fields to get a firsthand knowledge about the history, past and present of the rich heritage that we are so proud of.
The safari not only gave an introduction about the scheme of things involving arts and crafts but will also prove to be beneficial while propagating and creating new business avenues for the artisans.
The move though at an initial phase has the potential to grow beyond limits and set new bench marks for the trade and the artisan community by exploring their potential and helping them meet the modern day trade requirements.
For this the safari should not be restricted to selected visits by a few but should be expanded to the visiting tourists to this place so that they too get an insight into the rich artistic part of this region.
It is a pleasure to watch that the artisans are versatile and varied. There is diversity found in the skills that an artisan has been carrying old traditions to various arts and crafts. Retaining the indigenousness of the skills, the artists have successfully refined them at the same time. Thus, the artisans are praised for presenting the fusing of trend and tradition, with the amalgamation of legacy and developing art forms.
The craft safari has been appreciated not only by the local inhabitants but also the people associated with the glamour world. The tour operators hailing outside the UT and have well established business are showing interest to be part of these events and explore the crafts of Kashmir in order to take them to newer heights at global level.
The administration should plan these types of involvements and tours routinely in coming days so as to focus on each craft of the city. This will help the trade to witness a boom and get a further exposure for the artisan community.
The use of social media and other promotional campaigns should also be initiated so that the idea becomes viable and fetches the desired results.