Event to promote handicraft, handloom sector
Niyaz Ahmad Bhat, a papier-mache artist from Kashmir, has never participated in a large exhibition but his happiness knew no bounds when his stall was thronged by businessmen and art lovers Friday at the Hastkala Conclave in the capital.
"We are getting huge recognition here. People from outside are getting to know our talent," Bhat told agency, adding that back home they do not get the right price for their craft.
The art of papier-mache is practised across the country and is used in house decoration, making prototypes, props for theatre and movies and gift items.
The one-day event, organized by the Ministry of Textiles to spread awareness about hand-crafted goods, provided a good platform to some 40 artisans like Bhat to enlarge their businesses.
The conclave also saw a brainstorming session by policy makers, corporate heads and institutions connected with the handicrafts and handloom sector on critical aspects like sourcing of material.
Commerce and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma, who inaugurated the conclave, called for corporate and other support for the sector and bringing in new technologies to empower the artisans.
"To create that synergy between the institutions is very important. I have been of this view that it should be done in a structured format so that it empowers our people," Sharma said.
"We have the National Institutes of Design, we have the National Institutes of Fashion Technology. Some of these can help."
During the event, it was said that emphasis be given to the adoption of clusters and ways and means of providing inputs and facilities for development and innovation of motifs, designs and techniques.
The handicrafts and handloom sector provides direct employment to more than 11 million artisans, craftpersons and weavers, mainly belonging to economically and socially weaker sections of the society in the interiors of the country.
Out of the estimated production of Rs.32,000 crore of handicrafts (including carpets), around Rs.17,000 crore is being exported.
In the handloom segment, more than 6,930 million square metres of cloth is being produced. The export of this cloth was Rs.2,503.23 crore in 2011-12.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) provided support to this initiative of the ministry.