Pashmina is not just a word, but the cultural identity of Jammu and Kashmir, and the union territory administration is duty-bound to revive the industry, Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha said in Srinagar on Friday.
Sinha was addressing a function after presenting the annual artisan awards to Pashmina and Sozni weavers, organised by the Pashmina Exporter and Manufacturers Association (PEMA) here.
“Not only for J-K, but for the whole world, Pashmina is not just a word, but our cultural identity which has been made immortal by the hard work of our brilliant artisans,” the LG said.
He said the extraordinary and priceless product has played a great role in helping the economy for centuries.
It has also helped in nation-building. That is why Kashmir is known as the Pashmina capital of the world, he added.
Sinha said the sector has faced many challenges, but the administration is duty-bound to revive the Pashmina industry in J-K.
“The administration will take every step, including providing training, technological, infrastructural and financial support to the artisans to help them,” he said.
Referring to the challenges for the Pashmina goat herders due to climate change, Sinha said there is a crisis for the Pashmina goat due to this, but the administration has taken a step in that direction as well and work is being done on it on scientific lines.
The LG said about 3.5 lakh artisans in the union territory are currently registered with the Handloom and Handicrafts Department.
Among those, about 76000 artisans are directly linked with Pashmina and 55000 with carpet-weaving craft. We know there are many more who have been left, a programme has been launched to register the rest so that they get the benefit of government schemes, he said.
Sinha said the PM Vishwakarma Yojana will transform the lives of artisans and craftsmen engaged in 18 identified trades. The J-K administration will also ensure an increased number of stalls and shops during the exhibition at Pragati Maidan to provide them with enhanced marketing opportunities and access to the global market, he added.