Special Correspondent

Montek Singh Ahluwalia tells Sheila Dikshit to explore ways

Delhi Government has in the past also promoted handicrafts and handloom products

Two more Dilli Haats have been envisaged in West and East Delhi

NEW DELHI: Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has in a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that the upcoming Commonwealth Games could be viewed as an opportunity to globalise Indian traditional and indigenous handloom and handicraft products.

Stating that the Games have provided India a gateway to portray its indigenous, handloom and handicraft products, Mr. Ahluwalia suggested that “the Delhi Government explore ways of making the best use of this golden opportunity considering the future prospect of the village and small scale industries”.

Incidentally the suggestion assumes significance as the Delhi Government has in the past also promoted handicrafts and handloom products. Already two Dilli Haat are operating at INA and Pitampura and another two have been envisaged in West and East Delhi.

The Dilli Haat at INA is the first and the oldest and is extremely popular among the citizens as over 200 stalls of artisans there attract people by the hordes, providing them a chance to purchase art works from across the country while at the same time according small artisans a platform to display and market their wares.

The other Dilli Haat at Pitampura is only a couple of years old and has 108 stalls offering similar products.

Of the two Dilli Haats that are in the pipeline, the Janakpuri Dilli Haat is in an advanced stage of planning and Rs.65 crore has already been budgeted for it. The other Dilli Haat is supposed to come up in East Delhi but even the land for it has still not been identified as yet.

In view of the letter of the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, however, it now seems that work on these two Dilli Haats might get expedited and products being manufactured by artisans across the country may also be used judiciously and promoted during the international sporting event.