Srinagar September 15: Taking note of the fact that certain redundant activities have crept in the running of the Training Centres of the Handicrafts & Handloom Department ,Director Handicrafts & Handloom Kashmir Mahmood Ahmad Shah today ordered some major reforms in the overall functioning of the Handicrafts & Handloom Department Kashmir which included the closure of Readymade Garment Centres, Cutting & Tailoring Centres and Toy & Doll Centers.
These activities were found to be in conflict with the departmental aims objectives and policy guidelines, therefore, with the approval of the Government such centres have been abolished and instead centres like Hand Spinning and Hand Weaving of Pashmina, Tweed and Putto have been introduced.
In addition activities like darning and kalam kari will be given a special focus and the languishing crafts Silver ware, Glazed Pottery and Filigree will be taken up for revival. It is observed that strengthening the activities from the ground level shall help in strengthening of the GI Products and ensuring the quality of the Handicrafts.
It has also been observed that there was no clear cut policy in running of both the elementary and advanced centres as such centres used to stagnate at one place for longer period of time disrupting the skill dissemination. It was ordered that a centre can function at one place for a maximum of two terms and has to necessarily move to a new location after the completion of the term. In order to bring transparency in the running of these Training Centres, a dashboard type of software has been designed in collaboration with NIT to ensure real time monitoring.
Post merger of the Handicrafts & Handloom Departments, a Handicrafts & Handloom Policy has been announced which spells the road map for skilling people in various crafts and ensuring its long term survival. Vide Government order the stipend of the trainees was enhanced from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 in elementary course and 700 to1500 in advanced courses ensuring that the offer becomes attractive to garner handicraft skills.
One of the important mandate of the Department of Handicrafts and Handloom has been to ensure long term survival of the Craft and in this regard both the Departments prior to their merger used to run 432 Training Centres aimed to skill people in different crafts.
Since its start in 1970s, thousands of trainees have been trained in almost all the craft categories. All these trainees used to undergo training in elementary training centres and then graduate to advanced training centres with the duration of 1 & 2 years respectively.