A Kashmir shawl could’ve been worth Rs 9 cr: Drabu

Published at December 08, 2017 12:23 AM 0Comment(s)6436views

‘Teaching entrepreneurship to Kashmiris like selling snow to Eskimos’ 


A Kashmir shawl could’ve been worth Rs 9 cr: Drabu

FaisulYaseen

Srinagar, Dec 07:

Minister for Finance, Haseeb Ahmad Drabu Thursday said Kashmir shawl’s worth today could have been Rs 9 crore when compared with gold prices and the price it was sold at in 1804 to Empress Josephine de Beauharnais of France.
Josephine was the first shawl-loving trendsetter in Europe, who received her first every Pashmina shawl from Kashmir as a gift from her husband Napoleon Bonaparte.
Napolean had found the shawl in Egypt where his forces were stationed from 1798 until 1801.
The Pashmina shawl had reached Egypt after travelling from the princely state of Kashmir through Iran before Napoleon discovered it.
The moment Napolean had seen the Kashmir shawl, he had known that this was a perfect gift for his beloved wife.
After two or three years, her growing passion for shawls resulted in her spending over 20,000 gold francs for a single Kashmiri shawl.
Addressing the ‘Ideas Summit 2017’ organised by Foundation for Research, Development and Education (FRDE) at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar, Drabu said the amount when compared to the gold prices at the time was equivalent to Rs 9 crore today.
“And what are we selling the Kashmiri Pashmina shawl today for is Rs 1 lakh,” he said. “We haven’t valued our artisans and devalued our crafts in the process.”
Drabu said giving entrepreneurship lessons to Kashmiri youth was like selling snow to Eskimos.
Appealing youth to play a part in building peace in the region, he said the day Kashmir witnesses complete peace, “tourists will start coming out your ears”.
He also urged them to play a part in making Jammu Kashmir the knowledge economy.
He said entrepreneurs have a dignified existence and if the 7.40 lakh enterprises functioning in Jammu Kashmir, which provide livelihood to 16 lakh people, could only employ two more people each, unemployment would not only end from the State but it would have a shortfall of workers too.

faisul@risingkashmir.com

 

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