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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Kashmiri carpet makers say communication clampdown has hit business badly

cities Updated: Oct 11, 2019 22:45 IST

One of the few Kashmiri carpet sellers attending the India Carpet Expo in Kashi said the communication clampdown for the past two months since the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status has hit the business very badly but expressed hoped that the situation would improve soon.

“In this era of information and technology, communication is the base of business. Without communication, business is not possible. With the communication clampdown in the valley we are not able to send designs through emails to master weavers and suppliers based in Srinagar and other locations of Kashmir,” said Mehraj Y Jan, a native of Srinagar who owns a carpet showroom in New Delhi.

In the past two months, Jan said, he couldn’t mail even a single design to the weavers.

Another seller Wasim Jan said the carpet manufacturers based in Srinagar and other locations in the valley couldn’t place any order for raw materials. This has affected the weavers in remote locations.

Umar Hamid, manufacturer of hand-knotted Silk carpets, echoed similar views.

“I have not spoken to the weavers based in remote areas of the valley ever since the communication clampdown. I have no idea about the status of the orders which I placed over two months back. Whether weavers have started weaving or not, whether they have raw material or they wanted to make some changes in the designs, I have no clue,” said Hamid who is also second vice chairman of Carpet Export Promotion Council.

He said: “Weavers based in remote areas of the valley come down to Srinagar to collect raw material only when we call them. But since there is no communication, one can gauge the situation.”

He said he could not display new design of carpets in the expo as he couldn’t fetch the fresh carpets stored in Srinagar.

He said usually 10 to 12 Kashmiris used to set up the stalls in the expo but this time only three Kashmiris, who have carpet outlet in New Delhi, have set up their stalls.

Siddharth Singh, Carpet Export Promotion Council president, accepts the fact.

“We have 230 stalls in the expo with only a handful from Kashmir,” he said adding that next time efforts would be made to draw more people from the newly formed Union territory to set up stalls at the expo.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 22:45 IST

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