Few takers for this fair

AT LOSS

The recently concluded Bengal Handicrafts and Handloom Fair at Shilpi Haat, held at Rajiv Gandhi Handicrafts Bhavan attracted very few art lovers much to the chagrin of the 61 artisans participating in the exhibition. There were hardly any takers for the range of products on sale.

No sale: An empty stall.

The reason they said was the poor publicity and lack of awareness among Delhiites. “How will customers come to know without any advertisement?” enquires Swarup Majumdar, who was selling artificial flowers made from wood. Sailen, a handloom stall owner seconds Swarup. He says, “There should have been frequent advertisements in various newspapers to spread awareness.”

The lack of awareness is such that some of the stall owners even claimed that they had to pick up customers from nearby places and get them to the venue. Uday Shankar, a wood craft stall proprietor says, “In order to get the customers we would go out and get them to the venue.”

The fest was organised recently in order to promote various crafts from West Bengal. Each handicraft and handloom item was exclusive and exquisite. It had a total of 50 stalls with 25 each for handicrafts and handloom products. The wide array of products that were on display included the exquisite jewellery made from clay and sea shells.

“We have more than 30 types of ornaments that compliment almost all age groups,” says Indrani Dey, a costume jeweller. “Most of the jewellery is made up of fine clay in different handmade patterns,” she adds while designing the patterns on a piece of jewellery.

Various stalls showcased embroidered cotton dresses, jute bags, curtains, designer lamp stands, flower vases and other artifacts made from the famous Bengal bamboo.

“I have come here to buy some cotton dresses,” says one of the few customers at the fair.

Other products on display included a wide variety of metal items like the antique gramophones and telephones costing around Rs 4,000. Beautifully embroidered umbrellas in vibrant colours adorned the walls. The exhibition had some of the national award winning artists displaying their highly acclaimed artwork. 

These products were available at different rates starting from Rs 10 to Rs 20,000.
However due to poor response from the buyers, the artists were unhappy. Barring a few customers the stalls wore a deserted look.

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