In an important step towards the promotion of rural economy and boost the sale of handicraft and handloom products in Jammu and Kashmir, the union territory government on Thursday signed a pact with online retailer Flipkart for showcasing and facilitating the local artisans and craftsmen to reach customers across the globe.
Speaking on the MoU (memorandum of understanding) signing occasion, Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, UT of J&K, said the partnership will give a big boost to the rural economy and promote the versatile handicrafts and handlooms of Jammu and Kashmir to a pan-India market.
In a statement, Walmart-owned Flipkart said its agreement with Jammu & Kashmir Handloom and Handicrafts Corporation under the Flipkart Samarth programme to enable local artisans, weavers and craftsmen showcase their products on its platform.
Hashmat Ali Yauto, Managing Director of J&K Handloom & Handicrafts Corporation, said, "(The partnership)... will benefit lakhs of artisans, weavers and will in turn help in strengthening the Handicraft and handloom industry and economy of the UT to a greater extent."
Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Flipkart Group, said e-commerce will function as an enabler to not only provide nation-wide access to the artisans and weavers community but will also catalyse local economic activity.
"This MoU will enable thousands of artisans to reap the benefits of e-commerce and scale up their business," he added.
An official spokesperson of the J&K government said, "The move by the government shall expose artisans, craftspersons and weavers to millions of customers shopping online thereby ensuring efficient marketing that too when virtual marketing has overtaken the physical marketing of goods and services across the globe."
Initially this tie-up is supposed to cover dozens of products of lower and middle range segments like paper-machie, walnut craft gift items, shawls and stoles, embroidery made-ups and namda rugs, chain stitch wall hangings, willow wicker, gabba, etc. Many more craft items shall be added subsequently.
"We are excited to join hands with the J&K Handloom and Handicrafts Corporation to bring the local heritage of Jammu & Kashmir on our platform. This MoU will enable thousands of artisans to reap the benefits of e-commerce and scale up their business," Rajneesh Kumar said.
Flipkart Samarth supports more than 6,50,000 artisans, weavers, and micro-enterprises across India.
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