Puducherry lacks handicraft emporiums, showrooms

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LACKING SPACE: The Pudumai Handicrafts Artisans Cooperative Society showroom on the beach road in Puducherry.
LACKING SPACE: The Pudumai Handicrafts Artisans Cooperative Society showroom on the beach road in Puducherry.

Serena Josephine. M

“Handicrafts are popular in several countries”

PUDUCHERRY: For hundreds of artisans in Puducherry, the huge popularity for exquisite and unique handicrafts might be a reason to be happy, but the lack of separate emporiums and showrooms continues to be a cause of concern.

Except for the showroom of Pudumai Handicrafts Artisans Cooperative Society of the District Industries Centre, which has been functioning for 11 years on the beach road, Puducherry does not have any other emporium or showrooms for sale of handicrafts. In fact, this has been a long-time demand among artisans here.

“There are 10,000 artisans in Puducherry and our handicrafts are popular and in huge demand in several countries. Handicrafts made of terracotta, paper mache, coir, stone carving, leather and ceramic pottery are very popular. But, we are in dire need of showrooms here for enhanced opportunities for sale in the domestic market,” president of Pudumai and national awardee V.K. Munusamy said.

Last year, the Pudumai showroom recorded sales of nearly Rs.two crore, achieving huge revenue when compared to previous years.

“The showroom has been functioning in a small place. More showrooms could be started in places at Yanam and Mahe to enhance the domestic market sales. We have been asking the government to establish emporiums such as those in other States including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. In Tamil Nadu alone, there are around 25 emporiums of handicrafts,” he said.

Artisan G. Veerapan, who is specialised in making perfume candles and agarbathis for the last 27 years, shares a similar view.

“Establishing an emporium at a bigger place would be useful for artisans. We can display and sell all the products that we manufacture here. The government can set up two to three showrooms, especially at tourism spots such as Chunnambar boat house and Osuteri Lake,” he said.

Puducherry has already made a mark in export of handicrafts and according to artisans the government should take measures to establish showrooms in other States too. “To get a good market for our handicrafts, showrooms can be started at places including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Madurai. We participate in programmes held across the country throughout the year and the government has been supporting us by taking care of the travel expenses. But permanent showrooms in other States would fetch us good sales,” Mr. Munusamy added.

By establishing emporiums and showrooms, the artisans would get opportunities to sell their handicrafts, thereby bringing the problem of unemployment to an end, he said.

Minister’s assurance

Industries Minister E. Valsaraj said the department would look into the demand of artisans. “I have called for a review meeting with officials of the department. We could start a facility on a bigger area where artisans can do their work and also sell the products. We will look into the demand after interacting with the officials,” he said.



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