Artisan couple gift silk saree to Gujarat CM

A Kannada artisan couple in their 70s, travelled from Sunkadakatte near Bengaluru to the capital of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, to gift a Karnataka silk saree to the Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday.

The 6.5-metre silk saree weighs 200 grams, about one-fourth of a normal saree and it took Gurum Narayanappa and his wife Kamalamma almost a month to weave it. The price of the saree is estimated at Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000.

The couple also showcased a 35-gram silk saree that could be folded into a match-box.
“The Gujarat chief minister was surprised to see a 6.5-metre silk saree come out of a match-box,” Himanjay Palival, state organisation secretary of Samskrita Bharati told Deccan Herald.

Language barrier
He assisted the couple to fix an appointment with the Gujarat chief minister. The couple interact only in Kannada and were accompanied by a translator from Samskrit Bharati of Karnataka, he said.

The couple who are not from an affluent background wanted to gift a saree to Gujarat’s first woman chief minister and another 100-gram saree to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother, Hiraba. The Samskrita Bharati is trying to get the couple an appointment with the latter. If they have to leave for Bengaluru before they can give the saree to Hiraba, they plan to leave it with the Samskrit Bharati, said Palival and added, “We will try and see that it reaches Hiraba.”

Gifts to US first lady
The artisan couple has several feathers in their hat. One of their hand-made diaphanous silk saree has found a place in the wardrobe of US First Lady Michelle Obama. They gifted her a silk saree weighing just 70 grams along with a 30-gram silk scarf for the US President Barack Obama during their India visit in 2010.

In 2003, they received the President’s award for their art and have received invites to the homes of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Gurum Narayanappa said it took them three weeks to design the saree. “Only me and my wife design it at home,” he said.

The artisan, who was happy with the reception said, “When we came here, even though we did not know the language well, we were treated with modesty. Recently, even the RSS recognised my work and gave me an award,” he said. “We hope we could have met Hiraba. We are told that we cannot meet her as she is unwell. We also want to gift a saree to Queen Elizabeth,” Narayanappa added.

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