Capital gifted with 'Shilpotsav'

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New Delhi, Sep 27 (UNI) 'Shilpotsav', a two-week celebration of more than 200 handicrafts and folk arts from all over the country, kicked off with much gaiety and excitement, with a collection of exquisite handicraft and handloom items exhibited here at Dilli Haat.

This is for the third time that the apex bodies of the Ministry of Social Justice&Empowerment are holding this Mela of handicraft and folk art, displaying some rare collections of art work in the capital city. Along with this great opportunity, the ministry has also provided the artisans loans, training, rents respecting their talents and for a better livelihood to the backward section of the society.

Inaugurating the grand event here yesterday, Union Minister of Social Justice &Empowerment Meira Kumar said, ''we have just provided a platform to all those artisans, who are below the poverty line; who had to struggle everyday for their bread and butter.'' She appreciated the hard work and effort of the artisans highlighting the variety of activities being pursued by the beneficiaries of the schemes being run by the government. ''I am happy to see that some slum women, who used to do labour work have placed stalls here and are working hard to live a healthy life,'' Ms Kumar said adding that this kind of event can empower women economically.

Giving best wishes to all the artisans, the minister hoped that Delhi crowd would respect and like the work of the artisans who have come from far away to display their creative and art skills.

Ambassador of Peru to India, Mr Carlos A Yrigoyen was among the dignitaries present at the ocassion.

Traditional craft persons and weavers from almost every part of the country have presented their versatility of skills, entrepreneurship and creativity through wonderful products showcased here at the Utsav.

Representatives from all the states and various apex bodies of the ministry through various stalls have showcased items like handicraft dress materials, bamboo made purses, Cane&bamboo items, coconut fibre items, terracotta work, house hold items, jute slippers, Manipuri handicrafts, handicrafted wall hangings, hand embroidery items, Sonzi and Ari embroideries, hand made papers, banana fibre paper bags, cloth slippers, Kantha stich, Khadi products, craft work on silk dress materials, sandal wood items, Lace and Bead work, supari craft, Varanasi silk, Zardozi and Bandhani works, etc, which immensely appealed to the crowds.

Handloom products like curtains cutwork, decorated handiwork on cushions, bed sheets, shawls, woollen shoes, caps, including traditional dress of Assam, Manipur, Gujarat were amazing.

A large number of people also took interest in the paintings exhibited by artisans from different states, which include Madhubani painting, gold work on glass (Theva art), Herbal painting (Kalamkari) and in some food and masala items displayed at the stalls.

The candle montea at Sikkim stall, tea sets made of rocks and the exclusive natural dry flowers at Manipur stall, Navadhana Ganesha at Karnataka stall, Rajasthani prints, Muga and Pat silk at Assam stall, antique jewelleries at some North East stalls were some of those shops which left the crowds praising their efforts.

''The painting collections are really amazing. I had bought a dancing Radha Krishna for Rs 4000. I just loved it, it is so well made which can make one feel the moment of joy and love. Also I wanted to take some antique piece to my native place from India,'' Joan Deroche, from the US told UNI

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