February 2, 2021 10:50:08 pm
To strengthen the bond between residents of Pune and Kashmir, and provide the latter with an additional source of income, Mayor Murlidhar Mohol on Tuesday said that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will set up a permanent Kashmir Trade and Cultural centre in the city.
“We will take lead in establishing a permanent Kashmir Trade and Cultural centre in Pune, in accordance with the Pune-Srinagar ‘sister-city’ agreement. It will be set up in collaboration with social organisation Sarhad, with the objective to benefit farmers and handicraft artisans of Kashmir and strengthen the bond between both diverse cultures,“ Mohol said while inaugurating the Sarhad-organised Jammu & Kashmir handicraft sales festival at Ambar Hall in Kothrud on Tuesday. The festival will continue till February 9.
Mohol said farmers and artisans in Kashmir have suffered greatly due to tense situations in the valley and the Covid-19 pandemic. No access to proper marketplaces had led to rising poverty and unemployment, he added.
The Sarhad organisation took initiative and helped by organising farmer-to-consumer sales in Pune, which helped Kashmiri farmers and artisans to a considerable extent, the mayor said. “The permanent Kashmir Trade and Cultural centre is the need of the hour. We will take necessary steps to start it in collaboration with Sarhad and the PMC,” Mohol said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Pournima Gaikwad said that the concept of farmer-to-consumer sales is highly beneficial to Kashmiri farmers and artisans and will help boost the local economy, while also generating additional employment.
Sanjay Nahar, founder-president of Sarhad, said that the ‘sister-city’ agreement between Srinagar and Pune city is the first-of-its-kind in the country, and the implementation of such friendship agreements helps foster a sense of unity among people. The permanent Kashmir Trade and Cultural centre will be a positive and pioneering step in the direction of national unity, he added.
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