Indian Women Artisans Awadh Festival organised jointly by FICCI -FLO and Tourism Ministry U P Government -opens on 9th February in Lucknow

Indian Women Artisans  Awadhi Festival (IWAAF ) is a 3 day festival and exhibition of craft, culture and cuisine in Lucknow, being organised by FICCI FLO, Kanpur chapter in collaboration with U P Tourism , which will present an opportunity for participants to connect with consumers and sellers to enjoy the handicrafts,  of UP. There will be 60 stalls, out of which 60 % will comprise artisans from the state and rest from other states.  30 stalls will display branded products.  There will be open huts, which will stalls of block printings, Chickenkari , Pink minakari from Varanasi ,Patola from Patan, Carpets from Badhohi .

Renuka Tandon ,  Senior Vice chairperson FLO Kanpur chapter addressing said that festival  focuses on empowering women artisans and entrepreneurs from across the country ,by giving them a platform to showcase their talents and products to the end consumers and to expand their market products. .The FLO  artisans festival aims to raise funds for WE  (women empowerment )skill initiatives,spearheaded by FICCI FLO Kanpur chapter, in areas of education, socio economic upliftment, women welfare, and healthcare. 
Dr. Rita Bahuguna Joshi Cabinet Minister for Women Welfare, Family Welfare, Maternity and child welfare and Tourism in Government of U P will be the chief guest at the Inaugural function on 9th February. Hon’ble Chief Minister of U P, Yogi Adityanath will honour the event with his presence on 11th February. 

Major important features of the 3 day festival will be E-Commerce workshop for the women artisans .It will train them to  brand building and online selling. Renuka Tandon, senior vice chairperson of FICCI  FLO Lucknow -Kanpur chapter and one who conceptualised IWAAF ’18 said in detail, by selling online these women entrepreneurs will increase brand value and visibility and increase their sales..This will enable these women entrepreneurs to sharpen their marketing tools and skills and be self independent.  Secondly there will free medical awareness programme for them ,which will be on health, hygiene, Gynecology, Dentists, and Cosmetology .

The festival will also have a food court from banyan states and there will get musical entertainment programmes on all days ,which includes Sufi Qwall Rajab Ali  from Jaipur, Sandya Aarty by Pandit Heramb Awasthiji, Rajasthan folk dance by Nataraj Nritya Sangam Academy and open Jamming session for the youth. Another feature would be Jugalbandi of Sarangi, Tabla and Flute by musicians from Bhatkande Music Institute,Lucknow. Another much awaited event will be a  workshop on Vegetable Dye and Block Printing by Dayalal Kudhecha, master weaver and textile designer from Gujarat. 

FLO which is the women wing of FICCI is the apex body of Trade and Commerce industry in India. First the last 31 years FLO has emerged as prestigious pan India Women’s business organisations with 13 chapter and nearly 4000 members across India.This festival will be there’s first of its kind,  to promote women enterprises in India.  It is to be noted that they have invited all schools in Lucknow, to see the article and culture of the country. Passing on the heritage  and Women empowerment will be prime motive of this festival and to bring back to life the dying art of the country. UP Government, by its participation in this 3 day mega event has shown it’s sincere desire to promote it locally and international level too.
Afzal Ali Shah Maududi
Editor