Rare crafts get visibility at GIG carnival

The three-day carnival of music, food and crafts, the Great Indian Golchakkar (GIG) concluded last Sunday in the capital. Celebrating the gastronomical, artisanal and musical culture of modern India, the festival was first of its kind to give space to rare crafts and provide a platform to raise awareness about myriad crafts of India.

An interactive display of seven stalls was arranged during the festival which included traditional perfumes from Uttar Pradesh, rogan art from Gujarat, stone pottery from Meghalaya, jamdani work from Benaras, silver filligree work from Orissa, mask making from Assam and wooden idols from Andhra Pradesh.

However, though spacious, these rare crafts weren’t given much space at the widely- spread festival, which was curated by Gourmet Planet as a part of Ministry of Tourism’s Incredible India campaign.

While some crafts persons seemed convinced with the establishment and felt “lucky” to get the opportunity to showcase their skills to a wider audience, others felt that the organisers could have helped them more in the display of their products. Footfall was comparatively less than other parts of the festival.

“I got a chance to promote my skill and have a direct sale with the customer. People appreciated my work and I was convinced with my earnings through the festival,”Govind Kumar Chaurasia from UP, told Metrolife. The naturally made perfumes and itrs, made from the ‘bhapka process’ ranged from a price range of Rs 60 to Rs 1,000 and were a highlight at the rare crafts section of GIG carnival.

The silver filigree products from Odisha attracted crowd but many Delhiites seem familiar with the craft which is often available at Dilli Haat. Similarly, the silk shawls, stoles, suits and sarees from Bihar on display are a common sight at Dilli Haat but Sanjit Kumar, sales person at the stall, said that the festival helped him showcase the craft to more people.
Dilli Haat mei kabhi kabhi aate hain…yaha aane se ek aur mauka mila (We can showcase at Dilli Haat rarely. Here we got another chance to display our works),” said Kumar adding that his hand-woven silk products were appreciated.

However, for rogan art from Gujarat, wooden idols from Andhra Pradesh and sarees from Assam, the arrangements were not upto the mark.

“Our work impresses the customers only if we show them a demo. Otherwise, it looks like any other art work. Here we cannot show the demo of how rogan art is done,” said Abdul Gaffar Khatri, whobelongs to the eighth generation of the last family reviving the art.

For Chandra Kala’s wooden idols and Noveeena Swapnabh’s intricate sarees of
Assam, the sale was not convincing. Both the craftswomen were disappointed with organisers, who according to them, should have helped them in arranging stalls for a proper display of their artwork.

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