PESHAWAR: The local artisans dealing in handicraft have sought promotion of their items at national level in the wake of their growing demand in the market.

The number of shops in and around Peshawar city has increased during the last two years as local as well as foreign visitors have kept thronging the provincial metropolis. The handcrafts shops increased from earlier only four to 20 around the city, said the artisans.

Noted artisan and recipient of several awards Naz Khan told this scribe that owing to improvement of law and order, both locals and foreigners had shown keen interest in Peshawar handicrafts. He added that the handicrafts business witnessed an encouraging boom during the last over two years which prompted him to open two more shops in the old Dabgari Bazaar.

The artisan said that Peshawar handicrafts had great demand in a foreign market due to its purity and genuineness as foreigners loved such pure products. “Winter and summer peaks bring in more business because of the visitors and if KP Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) provides us with proper skill in digital marketing, our items could find international market,” said Mr Khan.

Dealer says they need digital marketing skills

Fahad Ali, a young artisan in Dabgari Bazaar, said that he had recently completed his intermediate and wanted to market his items through social media but had no special training or resources to do so.

He said that local artisans increased the number of handicrafts from 250 to 500 from woodwork, truck art to thread work crafting variety of items. The price ranged from Rs500 per item to Rs15,000 depending on the quality of material used, he added.

“Handicrafts have become an identity maker because every single item narrates its own story tracing back to people’s old life style using different household things. Also it stirs up nostalgia but invokes a deep emotional attachment. If displayed at high level, it could fetch thriving business to local artisans,” Muad Ustad, an artisan in Qissa Khawani Bazaar, told this scribe.

Aman Jan Sufi, a dealer, said that old artisans, who had quit the profession due to poor law and order situation in the province, returned to crafts business. He said that most of them required official patronage and digital marketing skill.

He said that there was great potential in Peshawar handicrafts because the local artisans crafted simple items showcasing culture that fascinated the foreign buyers the most.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2022

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