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Rural bazaar

The Dastkar show is about traditional skills and ethnic crafts

FOR THE next few days the huge rooms on the top floor of Amethyst on Padmavathi Road will remain unrecognisable, disguised by colourful thorans, thatch roofs and bright merchandise. Dastkar, a Delhi-based non-profit society working with crafts and crafts persons, has transformed Amethyst into a rural bazaar for a five-day crafts mela.

Brightly painted wooden engines, tops, games and trucks vie for attention with intricately embroidered cushion covers, tablecloths and furnishings as block-printed and embroidered saris in tussar and cotton look on from other stalls in disdain. Crafts persons in rich lehengas, heavy silver jewellery and bright turbans hawk their wares at the bazaar. Dastkar has brought in 25 artisans from various states across the country.

Black pottery from Rajasthan, hand embroidered camel leather bags and stools, bright bandhini pomchas, juthis and vegetable dyed block printed and patchwork garments represent the splendour of the desert state. Strikingly coloured lambani embroidered furnishings, bags and garments from Karnataka, tie-dye dupattas, shawls, stoles, dhurries and accessories from Gujarat, Madhubani paintings from Bihar, and beadwork from Uttar Pradesh are on display.

The cheerfully attractive and smoothly fat wooden toys from Ethikopakka in Andhra Pradesh priced between Rs. 5 and Rs. 110. Kurtas start from Rs. 350, while saris range from Rs. 600 to Rs. 3,000 depending on the fabric and embellishment.

Dastkar facilitates craftspersons by organising design workshops, providing raw material and credit and marketing the finished products. The craftspersons travel around the country exhibiting their wares, and gaining experience and knowledge about market trends, demand and customer preferences. The idea is to empower artisans and make them realise that traditional crafts can earn them more than a government job.

The Dastkari Bazaar is on from January 8 to 12 at Amethyst, 14/30 Padmavathi Road, Jeypore Colony, Gopalapuram, ph: 24991330.


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