Srinagar: Weavers, artisans, and craftsmen working in the handloom and handicraft sector of J&K are unique examples of creation and development of designs. They are an inspiration for budding fashion designers in designing and fashion communication.
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha made these remarks while addressing the first convocation of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Srinagar through virtual mode.
Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development was the Chief Guest and Shri Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports was Guest of Honour during the convocation ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Smt Irani said that the first batch of NIFT Srinagar has added a golden page in the history of the institution. She inspired the students to be prepared for whatever life has to offer and expressed faith that with the training imparted to them at NIFT, they would be equipped to deal with any tests and hardships that may come their way. The Minister said that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has recently announced a package of Rs. 28,400 crore as part of the J&K Industrial Development Scheme and urged upon the students to put in their best efforts to reap benefit from it.
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, during his address, observed that with the revival of art and craft centres, the J&K UT is emerging as a global fashion hub.
J&K contributes to 80% of the country’s total exports of woolen shawls. Special attention has been paid to the handicraft and handloom sector in the new Industrial Development Scheme approved by the central government recently. Handholding to local weavers and artisans is being provided for their livelihood generation as well as promotion of old crafts, said the Lt Governor.
Observing that J&K is witnessing the revival of its traditional handicrafts, the Lt Governor said that the artisans are again giving expression to their creativity through their talented eyes and hardworking hands. He called upon the students and faculty of NIFT to connect themselves with maximum craftsmen and artisans, be their voice and enrich their art with the research and expertise of the institute.
Underscoring the UT Government’s measures to promote the local products, the Lt Governor observed that UT Government is working on GI tagging of Kashmiri carpet, wood carving, Namda craft, Phool Kari, Basohli painting, Tweed fabric, Chikri craft, etc so that these products can be made available in the International Markets.
Speaking on the latest e-commerce initiatives, the Lt Governor said that the Handloom and Handicraft products of J&K have been provided global platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. With sustained efforts, the Handloom and Handicraft Industry of J&K would again reach its pinnacle.
E-commerce marketplaces will provide an appropriate opportunity for the momentous growth and development of the respective sectors. In the coming year, transportation issues would also be addressed as the railway network will connect Kashmir to Kanyakumari, he added.
Addressing the young designers of NIFT, Srinagar, the Lt Governor said that Designing and Fashion communication course of NIFT has huge potential in creating and developing new designs. It also has the power to revive the old crafts of the handloom sector, and can bring about a revolution in the handloom industry of the region.
He mentioned that for the first time in history NIFT Delhi has been included among the 10 reputed Fashion Institutes of the world.
The Lt Governor highlighted the significant role of NIFT, Srinagar in creation of Human Capital for the Fashion and Design Industry, besides incorporating the local crafts into the dynamics of fashion market.
The profession of fashion designing is a profession of expression. A fashion designer expresses his creativity through designing a piece of cloth and turning it into a masterpiece, he added.
Calling J&K a repository of talents, the Lt Governor said that the students who have graduated today are fortunate that they got to learn about the wonderful traditional techniques of weaving along with local art and craft.
Expressing satisfaction over the development of 100 new products, designed and developed as per the market needs by the students of the NIFT, the Lt Governor asserted that this would lead to revival of old crafts and take the products of local artisans to the global markets. He also noted that NIFT is playing a vital role in setting up Design Resource Centres in the Weaver’s Service Centres.
The Lt Governor congratulated all the students who received their graduating degrees from National Institute of Fashion Technology and wished for their happy and successful future.
While congratulating the graduates and their parents, Shri Kiren Rijiju, Union MoS urged the students to make best use of the opportunities available to them as the apparel and fashion industry has a lot of potential. He said that the youth of India has an important role to play in defining and portraying soft image and soft power of the country and that the alumni of NIFT Srinagar will play a pioneering role in this direction.