Aadi Mahotsav: A boost to tribal community

Aadi Mahotsav: A boost to tribal community

A nine-day event to boost tribal culture, cuisines and commerce is going on at Twin Art Gallery, Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts (IGNCA). Organised by The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), 'Aadi Mahotsav' was inaugurated on July 20 and will go on until July 29.

The theme of the festival is 'A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Craft, Cuisine and Commerce' and features exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more through 40-45 stalls. Over 70 tribal artisans and artists from different states have participated in the festival.

It is true that the tribes did not develop these arts and handicrafts for the market. They developed them for their own captive use. But like all of us, the tribes too now need cash for sundry purposes. It is therefore important that their natural skills must be channeled to promote their sources of income. It is for this reason that the Government seeks to promote interaction between the tribal artisans and the

mainstream designers from reputed design organizations. The idea is to expand the product range and designs. The synergy between these two can generate marketable products of art and handicraft for the top-end global market.

Unlike previous years, the artisans couldn't do good business due to the bad weather conditions. "The footfall was quite good on Saturday - Sunday, but due to the uncertain weather conditions and working days, there was a fall in the number of visitors," said CV Singh, in charge of the exhibition. Also, the artisans and workers were not very satisfied with the sale. "Very few customers have come since morning due to the poor weather,'' sighed Anelu who makes sweaters and other woolen stuff.

"We have worked really hard for this event to be successful, so let us wait till the end of the festival to see the actual foot count,'' adds Singh.

Aadi Mahotsav offers to take tribal community to next level of the digital and electronic transaction. For the first time, the artisans will be accepting payment through major credit/debit cards for which point of sale (POS) machines are present in each stall. TRIFED has also entered into e-commerce transactions and would be selling the products through Amazon, Snapdeal, and GeM in future. Tribals have been specially trained to use modern retail machines."Payment via debit/credit card is really helpful and profitable to us,'' said one of the artisans.

The nine-day Mahotsav promises to be a great platform to explore a mini India comprising various artist and their art forms. In fact, the items manufactured by the master craftsmen from Jammu and Kashmir Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Nagaland are already winning the hearts of Delhiites.

Aastha Rawthan

Aastha Rawthan

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