Handicraft fair kicks off at Eco Park
Kolkata: Minister of State for Textile & Handloom Swapan Debnath on Saturday inaugurated West Bengal State Handicrafts Fair 2017, popularly known as Hastashilpa Mela, at Eco Park near gate number 1 in New Town.
"It will feature the best of handicrafts from Bengal. The stalls will be run by the handicraft-makers themselves. There will be as many as 3,700 handicraft artists who will be present in the fair," a top official of the Textile department said.
This is for the first time when the fair is being held in New Town. The residents of the area have welcomed the move as different departments of state government have begun to attach importance to New Town. It is learnt that Ahare Bangla will also be held in New Town this year.
There will be 85 pavilions and more than one lakh square feet covered area where a number of stalls have been set up. "We have laid special emphasis on diversified products of terracotta, jute etc in this year's fair to woo customers. Our main focus will be to ensure that the craftsmen can sell their product in the best possible way," the official added.
Last year the Handloom Fair had registered sales of around Rs 28 crore.
The fair will continue till December 10 and will be open for public from 1 pm till 8 pm. There will be cultural programmes by folk artists except on weekends as an added attraction.
The fair is being organised by the Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textiles Department.
Bengal has a rich centuries-old culture, whose handicrafts are famed across the country and even internationally. A few years back, under the aegis of the Trinamool Congress-run government, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) collaborated with the state to set up Shilpagram, a rural crafts hub. These Shilpagrams have earned a lot of praise from international experts as centres for the marketing, selling and preservation of the rich culture of Bengal.