Bareilly's zari embroidery in demand in overseas markets

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Bareilly, May 31 : Zari (golden thread) embroidery work used for the embellishment of fabrics has found admirers in overseas markets, as its export has risen significantly of late.

Bareilly, one of the main centres of zari work, is attracting huge export opportunities, hovering around two billion Indian rupees annually.

The presence of the country's famed work can be felt in all the continents. The list of countries keen to purchase zari work includes the USA, the UK, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

"The turnover of zari production is around 175 crore rupees. The main market for it is in UAE, Europe and the US. Exporters from there do get their manufacturing done from here and export it to other countries too. We do indirect export like this too," said Gopal Agarwal, an exporter.

An index of the growing demand of zari is the volume of exports, which was well below the billion-rupee mark during the span of 1995-96.

But the succeeding five years saw a phenomenal rise in exports as volume grew to the tune of about 1.5 billion Indian rupees.

The growth of the business can also be attributed to the widespread presence of the Indian diaspora that has been on the upsurge globally.

Since the zari has made strong inroads into Bollywood, it's promotional work, though, indirectly is being done by films, which are finding global audience.

Moreover, in a developing economy like India, the zari has also become a good source of employment of a huge population in the area.

"We get raw material mainly from Punjab and Delhi. We are half paid at the time of delivery of finished goods and the remaining we get with the next lot," said Naeem, a zari worker.

However, like many other traditional industries in the country, the mainstay of the trade is worker who, ironically, is bereft of the fruits of the labour.

The traders involved in the trade usually earn approximately 117 to 140 US dollars in export of a zari-embroidered piece of cloth but the workers get barely two dollars.

However, with the rapid growth of zari exports, one can hope that the profits would percolate to the workers and the artisans involved in the trade.

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