SRINAGAR: On November 8, 2021, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has recognized ‘Srinagar’ among forty-nine cities as part of the creative cities network for the Crafts and Folk Arts category.
PM Narendra Modi congratulated the natives of Jammu and Kashmir for their vibrant and rich cultural heritage. He tweeted, “Delighted that beautiful Srinagar joins the @UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) with a special mention for its craft and folk art. It is a fitting recognition for the vibrant cultural ethos of Srinagar. Congratulations to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development states the UNESCO’s website. Currently, there are 246 cities which make up to this network across the globe.
From India, only three cities, besides Srinagar are recognized under UCCN creative cities list. Jaipur in the category of Crafts and Folk Arts in 2015; Chennai and Varanasi under the category Creative City of Music were recognized in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Citing the achievement the permanent delegation of India at the UNESCO tweeted that, “Congratulations Srinagar! Srinagar has been added to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network as a creative city for crafts and folk art.”
Commissioner of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, an IAS and 2015 UPSC topper Athar Aamir Khan shared his happiness and tweeted, “Srinagar has been inscribed as UNESCO Creative City of Craft & Folk Art. Deeply grateful to everyone who has been behind & who supported the nomination filed by Srinagar Municipal Corporation in May this year(UCCN2021). It’s a recognition of the city’s artists, artisans & craftsmen”.
This recognition brings prestige to both the city and India. It is also significant as it will determine the future trajectory of the development of the city.