Bridging boundaries through art
Dehli’s handicraft enthusiasts have another reason to visit Dilli haat as the 30th edition of annual Dastakari mela has been declared open in the national Capital on Sundau.
This year’s highlight is the presence of craftswomen from Myanmar, who will be practicing shell craft, basketry, mat weaving, handloom textile weaving and hyacinth grass weaving for the viewers.
The crafts mela was inaugurated in the presence of Lalitha Kumaramangalam, chairperson, National Commission for Women; Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament, New Delhi Constituency; His Excellency U Aung Khin Soe, Myanmar Ambassador to India; Sripriya Rangathan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr SK Panda, Secretary, Textiles, government of India; Sohan Jha, Senior Director, Crafts Museum and Myint Htwe, chairman, National Arts and Crafts Association of Myanmar.
The group of women exhibited the world famous Pathein umbrellas, puppets, velvet slippers, lacquer work and jade items. The exhibition is in collaboration with Dastkari Haat Samiti and supported by Ministry of External Affairs, Embassy of India in Myanmar, Corriandar Leaf, Yangon and Air India. Myanmar craftsmen will be joining hands at Dilli Haat for a crafts and skill development workshop.
The crafts mela is one of its kind, where new design developments will take place in collaboration with craftsmen from Myanmar anwd India. Live demonstration of the weaving looms, from more than 12 states along with National and state-awardees from Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu Kashmir, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and others took place. A unique feature of the crafts mela will be that the visitors will be able to interact, learn, appreciate and explore Indian and Burmese handicrafts and textiles. The entire fortnight’s collaboration will result in new product designs, long term friendships and shall provide unique inputs to the crafts sector while enhancing economic wellbeing and diplomatic ties at the ground level. Meenakshi Lekhi said: “Dastkari Haat Samiti puts a great effort to give the great opportunity to the all the artisans who came across from India and Myanmar. But i think digitalisation should be given important because it can help the artisans in much easier way. Dastkari Haat Samiti should open their E-commerce website so that artisans directly sell their products.”
Jaya Jaitly, Founder Dastkari Haat Samiti, has been working relentlessly with diverse craftsmen across the country to produce beautiful, economical and purposeful crafts, for more than four decades.
Jaya Jaitly said: “The Samiti has constantly worked towards expanding opportunities for craftsmen as conservationists of Indian heritage. The Samiti’s artisan-members have travelled all over and collaborated with local artisans in other developing nations to create utility-based and market-friendly products.”