Hyderabad : Seven-day Exhibition of Handicrafts from Shantiniketan, West Bengal organized by Swayambhar NARI (Non-formal Action Research Institute), a Kolkata-based Voluntary Organisation kicked off here at YWCA, West Marredpally Road, Secunderabad today. The exhibition was formally inaugurated by Ms. Chandana Khan, IAS, Special Chief Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh. Open for all from 10am to 8pm daily, the exhibition will be held till 12th September 2013. Mr. G.N. Rao, Special Officer, Shilparamam also graced the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Chandana Khan said that the exhibition is a good opportunity for the Hyderabadi to know and take home products that are of cultural heritage of Shantiniketan and West Bengal. She said that the Culture and Tourism department of AP Govt. is encouraging rural and tribal artists. Recently artists from Cherial, Warangal were taken to Berlin to give exposure to their paintings, masks that they make, etc. Along with handicrafts, toys, Kalamkari, etc. the government is also promoting the performing arts, she said.
Mr. G.N. Rao of Shilparamam said that they had gone to Shilparaman about three months back and witnessed the programs of Swayambhar Nari. Swayambhar Nari has been doing great work in training the artists and providing the artists especially marginalized women from the region in making their products in new designs, adding more variety, etc.
The exhibition will showcase different types of Handicrafts from Shantineketan – Hand Embroidery Sarees, Batique items, Dress materials, Jewellery, Block Printing, Kurta, Madur (mat), Jute Chappals, Jute Bags, Men’s & Women’s Silk & Cotton Kurtas, Dress Materials, Cotton, Silk & Tassar printed sarees, Dokra, etc. Different famous Boutiques are also participating from Kolkata with their creative items.
Swayambhar NARI was started in 1988 essentially for women but over the years the male craftsmen too have joined. It was started as a voluntary group for providing marketing facilities to craft persons. Today, it has more than 1,000 members. The organisation runs two craft schools at Midnapore and Birbhum, Shantiniketan besides schools in rural areas for the craftsperson’s’ children. It advises craftsperson’s on design matters. Swayambhar NARI activities are supported by Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India; National Jute Board (Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India); KHADI; National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), National Institute of Design (NID) and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) for skill up gradation and product diversification in handicrafts.
Besides promoting the handicrafts and handlooms, the exhibition lays special stress to shun plastics and use Jute and other eco-friendly products.