Reviving Kashmir’s Businesses : A Call for Community Support
Mohammad Yaseen Malik
Amidst the glittering screens of online shopping, the charm of local markets has faded. Yet, as we succumb to the allure of convenience, our beloved Kashmiri shopkeepers bear the brunt of our inattention. The pandemic has only worsened their woes, with many struggling to stay afloat. But we can change this – by heeding the call for community support and reviving the spirit of our local markets.
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Let us consider the numbers: according to recent census data, there are over 400,000 households in Kashmir, with an estimated 2.5 million people. Yet, despite this vast population, local markets have seen a sharp decline in footfall and sales. In fact, a survey conducted by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed that over 60% of local shopkeepers have reported losses in the past year, with some even facing bankruptcy.
But why does this matter? Beyond the economic impact on our shopkeepers, the decline of local markets threatens the very fabric of our community. These markets are not just places of commerce, but also of social exchange and cultural heritage. They are where we come to connect with our neighbors, share stories, and revel in the unique flavors and crafts of Kashmir.
To ensure the survival of our local markets, we must take concrete steps towards revitalization. This starts with a shift in our consumption patterns – instead of opting for the ease of online shopping, let us make a conscious effort to patronize our neighborhood shops. By doing so, we not only support our local economy, but also foster a sense of community resilience.
Moreover, we can also advocate for policy changes that prioritize the needs of small businesses. For instance, the government could provide tax breaks or subsidies for local shopkeepers, or create incentives for consumers to shop locally. Additionally, we can work with local NGOs and business associations to develop marketing campaigns and training programs that equip shopkeepers with the skills and tools to compete in the modern market.
Above all, let us remember the value of our local markets – as both economic and cultural anchors of our community. They are the beating heart of our neighborhoods, and it is up to us to keep them alive.
The decline of local markets in Kashmir is a cause for concern, but not despair. By recognizing the importance of these spaces and taking action to support them, we can ensure a brighter future for our community. The importance of supporting local businesses cannot be overstated, especially in the current economic climate where Kashmiri shopkeepers are struggling to keep their businesses afloat. It is incumbent upon us to make a conscious effort to shun online shopping and opt for local markets instead. By doing so, we can not only contribute to the growth of the local economy but also preserve the rich cultural heritage of the region. So, let us support our local businesses and ensure that they thrive for generations to come.
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One thought on “Reviving Kashmir’s Businesses : A Call for Community Support”
It’s real threat to the business and a concern , we must heed to this issue and make an positive out come to strengthen our local businesses