Hunar Haat in IITF 2017 from 14-27 November at Pragati Maidan 

New Delhi, 14th November: The fourth Hunar Haat exhibition is being organised by the Ministry of Minority Affairs at India International Trade Fair (IITF) at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 14th to 27th November, 2017. Addressing the media, the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi stated that the Hunar Haats have become a successful mission to provide employment and income generation opportunities with platforms for marketing the products of master artisans, craftsmen and culinary experts belonging to the minority communities.

Hunar Haats are organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs under USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme. The USTTAD scheme aims at preserving & promoting the rich heritage of the traditional arts & crafts of the Minority communities.  This is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry.

Replying to a question on the inspiration behind Hunar Haat, Shri Naqvi said that several traditional arts and crafts were under threat of vanishing due to various reasons, the Hunar Haats are aimed at reviving and preserving this rich heritage.

The Minister further added, while on one hand Hunar Haats provide a platform to master artisans and craftsmen to display their rich heritage and skill, on the other hand these exhibitions bring both domestic and international markets to the artisans and craftsmen, empowering them with various resources. The National Minority Finance Development Corporation also supports them with financial aid/ loans etc.

About 130 artisans from 20 States & Union Territories are participating in this Hunar Haat which include about 30 women artisans. Participants from Andhra Pradesh (2), Assam (2), Bihar (4), Delhi (24), Gujarat (11), Jammu and Kashmir (9), Jharkhand (1), Karnataka (4), Madhya Pradesh (5), Manipur (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (4), Puducherry (3), Punjab (2), Rajasthan (12), Tamil Nadu (1), Telangana (2), Uttar Pradesh (37), Uttarakhand (1) and West Bengal (4) are attending the exhibition.

Shri Naqvi said that the artisans have brought with them very exquisite pieces of Handicraft & Handloom work like Cane & Bamboo & Jute Products of Assam; Tussar, Geeja, Matka Silk of Bhagalpur; Traditional Jewellery, Lac Bangles & Jewellery from Rajasthan & Telangana; Kantha Products of West Bengal; Brocades of Varanasi; Lucknawi Chikan Work, Zari Zardozi from U.P; Khurja Ceramic Products; Clay items, Blackstone Pottery, Dry Flowers and Traditional Handicrafts of North-East; Shawls, Carpets & Papier-mache of Kashmir; Ajrakh Print, Mutva, Kutch Embroidery & Bandhej of Gujarat; Batik/Bagh/Maheshwari of Madhya Pradesh; Aplique & Ajrakh of Barmer; Leather Products, Brassware of Moradabad; Kalamkari of Telangana. New products include baskets made from Natural Grass by artisans from Puducherry & UP; Gota patti work from Rajasthan, Mural paintings & Bandhej from Gujarat.

The Minister said that crafts people in thousands are involved in the production of handicrafts on show and for sale in these Mega events/ exhibitions which keeps them employed for several months in a row.  This ensures that there is Development with Dignity for these highly talented and skilled crafts people belonging to the minority communities.  Shri Naqvi elaborated that this is true empowerment without appeasement, samman ke sath sashaktikaran.

The Minister informed that this Hunar Haat exhibition is unique from earlier exhibitions as for the first time products made by inmates of Delhi’s Tihar Jail are also being showcased and sold which gives them a sense of self-dependency and appreciation. These products include furniture, handlooms, handicrafts, bakery items, hand-prepared oil, organic spices and grain.

The Minister informed that this is the fourth Hunar Haat, the first two were held in Delhi and the third in Puducherry.  More than 40 lakh people visited these three Hunar Haats.  It is proposed to hold 10-12 Hunar Haats across the country in one calendar year, starting with Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Bhopal and other places. Besides this, the Ministry is also working to establish “Hunar Hub” in all states where artisans will be provided training and other facilities.

-Agency