Exhibition of products made by craftswomen at Dilli Haat

Bringing together craftswomen and experts from South Asian countries on a common platform is a fortnight-long exhibition titled “Crafting Friendships” that opened at Dilli Haat opposite INA Market here on Thursday.

Harbinger of change

The exhibition acknowledges that women are harbinger of change in South Asian countries. A two-day seminar on “Sustainable livelihoods for women through crafts” was also inaugurated.

Craftswomen are not just displaying their wide range of products at the exhibition but also demonstrating their skills and exchanging designs and techniques under the guidance of Dastkari Haat Samiti's designers.

Inaugurating the show, Indian Council for Cultural Relations president Dr. Karan Singh said an exhibition of Dastkars used to be organised every year in Kashmir during his childhood days. “Fortunately, whenever I returned to the Valley from my holiday vacation at Doon School (Dehra Dun), this particular exhibition was mounted. I delivered my first speech at Dastkar exhibition when I was a mere 11-year-old. I lectured them as Y uvraaj, and now I have been elevated to a doctor! Kashmir's pashmina shawl, papier mache and other traditional works have no parallel,” he added.

Expressing satisfaction over participation of craftswomen from Pakistan, Myanmar, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Dr. Karan Singh said women from the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation region are displaying crafts that relate to the common man. “The 21 {+s} {+t} Century belongs to women. Our President, Speaker and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and leader of the ruling party are all women,” he added.

Exchange programme

Samiti president Jaya Jaitly said this cultural exchange programme transcending borders helps artisans share their skills and knowledge. “Our karigars have travelled to Vietnam even though they were clueless where it existed on the world map. Similarly we have had such exchange programmes with Thailand and Sri Lanka,” she added.

Ms. Jaitly said through creativity, commerce and compassion, women can bring about peace in the South Asian region. “We want Delhiites to know the similarities and dissimilarities between our karigars and those from abroad. Craftswomen will sit down together and create products that would be marketed internationally. Hopefully, this event will have a greater impact.”