The Khadi and Village Industries Commission have turned their attention to Bengal based artisans after the success of their North-eastern and Jammu and Kashmir exhibitions, to give them a much-needed exposure in the national Capital through the ‘Khadi Bongo Utsav’ which was inaugurated on August 17 at the Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan by the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Secretary, Anup K Pujari.
Under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme(PMEGP), which provides marketing support to small scale entrepreneurs as well as provide them with a means of livelihood, the KVIC have done the needful in promoting artisans from different parts of the country as well as increasing the market value of Khadi.The exhibition which showcases products from Bengal, is another step KVIC has taken to promote small scale industries that ply their trade in the remotest corners of
Bengal. Artisans selling different products made from muslin, silk and other fabrics are getting to showcase their works in front of a more diverse group through this exhibition. “This is my ancestral business and has been around for 150-200 years. One dinner table mat takes at least one day to make.
The folding mattresses are made of authentic Khadi and the dinner table mats are forged from a type of grass, with premium products priced at around Rs 25,000,” said Akhil Jana, a Midnapore based entrepreneur. “I have mats made from Muslin too as well as Khadi bags” he added.
There are others like Subrata Jana from West Midnapore, who deal in authentic Baluchari silk sarees that have a pan-Indian appeal. These sarees have Bengali tribal folklore and myths from India embossed on them. “We are in this business since 1992 and are very happy to showcase our other sarees like Tashar, Kataki along with the famous Baluchari. The silk Baluchari which comes at a price tag of Rs 8600 is our most highly priced product,” he said. He also added that it takes at least three artisans to make one of these sarees. Even then it takes roughly 15 days to make just a single saree. Apart from these, there are other products such as terracotta sculptures, priced between Rs 80- 800 depending on the size. There are also products fashioned out of Jute, Dokra, leather and other authentic Bengal made goods.
KVIC deputy CEO, KS Rao said, “This exhibition under the PMEGP scheme aims at providing a lifeline to unemployed youth of the country. We have over 3 lakh enterprises which I am sure will generate more employment in days to come. Starting with the North East states, then Jammu and Kashmir and now Bengal, we are positive that it will be a great success.”