New Delhi: The largest helmet manufacturer in Asia, Steelbird Hi-Tech India Ltd, has offered to establish a factory in Jammu and Kashmir a day after Article 370 was turned defunct by means of a State reorganisation Bill followed by presidential order. It was as though the company was waiting for the discriminatory and draconian provision to go that they made a full-fledged proposal barely 24 hours after the presidential order.
Steelbird has said in an official statement that the removal of Article 370 would usher in an era of the industrial revolution in Jammu and Kashmir, creating in the process thousands of jobs. Chairman of Steelbird Subhash Kapur, who has his own story of rags-to-riches to tell, being a refugee from Daddan Khan of District Jhelum of what is now Pakistan, said the move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah was a long-awaited decision. This would, he said, ensure that the Valley joins the Indian mainstream and becomes a part of the all-round development of the country.
Kapur said that all that was happening in the name of a business in Kashmir was small-scale horticulture and handicraft. The Steelbird head said that he planned to establish his factory in Kashmir in October following a summit meeting of investors. He expects that all businesses will be allowed to flourish on a level-playing field in a free market of the Valley.
Steelbird already has a plant in Baddi of Himachal Pradesh, where it has invested Rs 150 crore. The capacity of this plant is going to enhanced soon to produce 44,500 helmets a day. Kapur thinks he can replicate the feat in the Valley.
In 2014, when his biography was published, Kapur had said, “Fifty years ago, despite all the challenges and hurdles, I was driven by a dream —I have to start something my own. Looking back over the years, I feel the struggle was well worth it.”