New Delhi: Handicraft artisans from Kashmir have brought laurels to the Valley by bagging two Shilp Guru and six National level awards in different craft categories.
The Shilp Guru Awards are given to master craftspersons in recognition of excellent craftsmanship, product excellence and the role played by them as gurus in the continuance of crafts to other trainee artisans as a vital part of traditional heritage, said a statement from Department of information and public relations Jammu and Kashmir.
The Awards were started in 2002, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the resurgence of Handicrafts in India. The Award consists of a gold coin, Rs 2 lakh prize money, a Tamrapatra, a shawl and a certificate. The National Level Awards are being awarded since 1965 for outstanding craftsmanship in different craft categories. The Award consists of Rs.1 lakh prize money, a Tamrapatra, a Shawl and a certificate.
The Shilp Guru awards were conferred by Vice President, Jagdeep Dhankhar while the National Level awards were conferred by the Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal at Vigyan Bhawan here.
The award categories were announced for the year 2017, 2018 and 2019 amidst an august gathering that included Officers from the office of Development Commissioner Handicrafts.
Addressing a gathering after presenting Shilp Guru and National Awards, the Vice President said that the unique talent of our master craftsmen is representative of Bharat. “With your subtle workmanship, you embellish and enrich India’s cultural diversity. You represent India’s rich tradition of skills and craftsmanship,” he told the Shilp Gurus awardees.
He described Indian craftsmen as the impactful ambassadors of our culture and creativity and said that by honouring them, the nation is honouring those generations of unknown skilled craftsmen, who have left behind such a rich legacy.
While congratulating the prize winners, he assured artisan community of the country of all possible support. He also stressed upon preserving this unique skill that is responsible for the production of world famous handicraft products.
The awards were given in different categories that included Sozni, Paper Machie and Carpet.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat of Sonpah Beerwah and Iqbal Hussain Khan of Gazi Doori were awarded Shilp Guru awards for the year 2018& 2019 in the Jamawar Shawl craft and Paper Machie respectively.
Similarly, the National awards were conferred upon Muzaffar Hussain Khushoo of Kathi Maidan Srinagar (Paper Machie, 2019), Zahoor Ahmad Bhat of Shalla Bagh Zadibal (Sozni Embroidery, 2019), Safdar Ali Mir of Sonpah Beerawah (Sozni Embroidery ,2018), Parveza Bano of Kathi Maidan Alamgari Bazar (Sozni Embroidery, 2018), Akthar Hussain Rather of Hawal Kral Pora (Paper Machie, 2017) and Ghulam Ali Sheikh of Shahoo Sachan Kulgam (Hand Knotted Carpet, Double Sided, 2017).
Rachna Shah, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Shantmanu, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, awardees from across India and other dignitaries were also present.
Meanwhile, Director Handicrafts & Handloom Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah has extended his greetings to the awardees.
“The Department is aware of the creative talent that is available in Village Sonpah of District Budgam as a result a DPR for developing the Village as the craft Village has been prepared and submitted to GOI” he said.