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First folk crafts fest of India news
Our Economy Bureau
13 September 2003

New Delhi: For the first time, an exclusive display of Indian handcraft is being showcased during the Asia Pacific Week from 13 to 21 September 2003. The Indian Pavilion is being organised jointly by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts and the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Government of India.

The Thematic display will focus on social and environmental sustainability and the achievement in providing service to the communities. The Asia Pacific Week is a biennial platform for political, economic, cultural and scientific exchange between Asia and Europe in Berlin and was initiated by the Governing Mayor of Berlin in 1997. At every APW, there is a focus country. This year India is a focus country and handicrafts have been projected as the special theme.

The display will highlight the richness, exquisiteness and intricacy of Indian arts and crafts and its usage in the modern time. And will also be available for sourcing by Germany and Europeans. Twenty-seven Indian manufacturers of handicrafts will be present to showcase the best products. The highlights of the event will be live demonstration by Indian artisans and crafts persons on the crafts of wood carving, stone carving, miniature painting, carpet weaving and cane weaving.

More than 6 millions artisans and crafts persons in the rural and urban area in India are associated with the production of crafts. The exports of handicrafts reached to the tune of $2249.56 millions in the year 2002-03 with a growth of more than 20 per cent in dollar terms from the corresponding year. Germany is a major trading partner and the exports of handicrafts to Germany is to the tune of $200 millions in the financial year 2002-03.

A perfect blend of traditional and contemporary will be showcased through art, metal ware, wood ware, hand-printed textiles, scarves, brocade and brocade goods, embroidered and crocheted goods, carvings, imitation jewellery, costume jewellery, giftware, decorative and accessories, carpets and jute products etc.

In order to create hype to the Indian folk art festival, cultural performances will also be held through the organisation of Indian Council for Cultural Relations. These will include a classical dance, classical music and a folklore performance.

The crafts from Kashmir and the Northeast states will be focused. Kashmir is well known for carving on walnut wood, embroidery on wool, carpets and hand-painted wooden boxes for utility and decoration. Northeast states are known for producing very fine handmade cane and bamboo products for daily use and variety of eco-friendly crafts.

The entire display is being coordinated by the Embassy of India, Berlin, which in fact has mooted the idea of projecting Indian handicrafts in the markets of Germany. To understand the European taste of consumers more closely specially Germany many renowned German have been engaged by Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) to develop the products as per requirements.

A step further, for a permanent presence in the US and the EU, an ambitious scheme of opening of showrooms and warehouses has been envisaged whereby permanent showrooms and warehouses will be made available to Indian exporters in established marts.

The ministry of textiles, Government of India, has envisaged an aggressive integrated international marketing approach to increase the share of exports from this sector. Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts have been entrusted the responsibility to project the Indian handicrafts in the world market.

The approach emphasises the product development, innovation in designs, upgrading the manufacturing technology, and improved packaging. On the other hand new strategies have been worked out to project the Indian handicrafts in the international market in more impressive and aggressive manner.

The other areas which have been touched are the publicity, creating brand image of Indian handicrafts, organisation of Folk Crafts Festival of India in different parts of the world by creating awareness among the buyers, planners, policymakers about the Indian handicrafts and their generic promotion.


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First folk crafts fest of India