Reviving old India arts and craft work, Hunar Haat sweeps the Pink city

A wide array of traditional Indian art and craft developed since centuries at the cottage level by master craftsmen is on display at the ‘Hunar Haat’ organised in the ‘Pink City’ historically called as Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state in Northern India.

A flagship project of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Haat aims to empower traditional talents and to empower both old and upcoming talents as well as preserve India’s rich heritage that once made the nation so popular across the globe. India gained worldwide popularity for their handicraft culture of intricate work and finesse be it in ceramics, zari work, marble inlay work, silk embroidery and folk painting.

A flagship project of the Indian Ministry of Minority Affairs to empower both the old generation of artistes and upcoming talents, Hunar Haat has been a whopping success both in term of participation and visitors inflow since it was inaugurated on August 24.  The exhibition closes on September 1.

This is the first Hunar Haat of the Modi 2.0. In its earlier version during the last three  years more than a dozen Hunar Haat exhibition were set up at key centers in India which  not generated employment to several lakhs of artisans and craftsmen but also provided a captive market for their products.

Arguably, Hunar Haat has emerged as credible brand of homemade indigenous products designed and crafted by master artisans and craftsmen.  In Jaipur more than 200 artisans and craftsmen besides culinary experts drawn from different parts of the country are competing with their art form.

“Our main aim is to ensure that Hunar Haat becomes a “credible brand” of “Indigenous talent” reservoir of Indian artisans and craftsmen. “Hunar Haat” has ensured “Development with Dignity” of artisans and craftsmen of the country, many of whom were living in oblivion, said Union Minority Affair Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Mr. Naqvi said that  “Hunar Haat” has proved to be “Empowerment & Employment Exchange” for many unknown master artisans and craftsmen and fulfils  Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to ‘Make in India’, ‘Stand up India’, ‘Start up India’ initiative.

The artisans have brought indigenous handmade exquisite pieces like Cane & Bamboo furniture’s, Jute Products from Assam, variety of Silks from Jharkhand, Bhagalpuri Silk & Linen, Lac and traditional Jewellery, Kantha of West Bengal, Varanasi Silk, Lucknawi Chikankari, Ceramic, Terracotta, Glassware, Leather, Marble products of Uttar Pradesh, Traditional handicrafts from North Eastern Region, Ajrakh, Bandhej, Mud work, Copper Bells from Gujarat, Kalamkari & Mangalgiri from Andhra Pradesh, Patiala famed Phulkari and Jutti, Carpets and Durries, Batik, Bagh, Chanderi, Maheshwari from Madhya Pradesh, Handicrafts and Handlooms of Rajasthan and many more.

Many of the items that are on display would have become extinct had the government initiative which provides free stall, daily allowances,  free travel to the venue besides publicity came to their rescue. “ They earn through sales of their products and many dying arts like lac jewellery, have now been revived,” Mr. Naqvi said.

India has always been known for its multifaceted and diverse cuisines which changes forms and taste every hundred kilometers also gets special place at the Hunar Haat.  The best culinary experts visitors flaunt to the visitors their traditional delicacies like Awadhi Khana, Rajasthani Pakwan, Gujarati Thali, Maharashtrian Cuisine, Madhya Pradesh ka Khana, Chatpati Chaat, Delhi Street Food, Tamil Cuisine, mouth-watering sweets along with Mukhwas and a variety of flavoured paan. Silver Filigree products from Odisha & Parsi Food are an added attraction.

Besides, traditional cultural programs, Qawalli and others, being performed by renowned artists, are the major attraction for visitors.

Asked if the Ministry has plans to go global with the state of art Hunar Haat  like the earlier version of Festival of India, the Minister said that several plans are in the offing as we have drawn a huge army of artisans and craftsmen whose art  needs international recognition. We surely will tap Gulf states where there is a large concentration of indian once we cover our pan India plan”.

S A H Rizvi