The Bengaluru Dastkar Bazaar is in town again

The 22nd edition of the Bengaluru Dastkar Bazaar, which will be held in the city between May 23 and 29, will offer crafts, workshops, food and performances

Updated - May 24, 2023 08:47 pm IST

Published - May 19, 2023 05:03 pm IST

Food, crafts and more at the Bengaluru Dastkar Bazaar

Food, crafts and more at the Bengaluru Dastkar Bazaar | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The 22nd edition of the Bengaluru Dastkar Bazaar will be held in the city next week. “Last time, there were 140 stalls. This time we will have 150,” says Shelly Jain, Head, Programmes and Personnel, Dastkar. Around 30 of these stalls are new, she adds, with participants who have never come to Bengaluru before, one of which is the traditional craft of leheriya, the tie-and-dye technique practised in Rajasthan. “Very few people are doing this today. The craft is close to extinction.”

Some of the other first-time crafts on display include chizami, patola, paithni and taat embroidery, with lacquer work, bhujodi and bandhni. There will also be old favourites like phad, dabu, Madhubani paintings, silver filigree jewellery, shibori, leather puppets, zardozi and so much more. In addition to the craft on display, the bazaar will also have a multi-cuisine food court and offer a range of cultural experiences, including craft workshops and demonstrations and performances.

“We emphasise on conducting interactive workshops with customers so they can educate themselves,” points out Jain, adding that it is important for people to understand and value the various craft cultures of India. “During the bazaars, we also put up stories of the artisans, about the craft and the process of making it,” she says. “Unless someone understands the process, they will never understand why it is so expensive.”

Dastkar was established nearly 40-odd years ago to connect rural artisans to urban marketplaces. Craft, though the second largest sector in the country after agriculture, rarely gets the recognition it deserves. And while much has changed since then, with more craftspeople putting their wares directly online, it continues to be a fragmented one. “Online doesn’t give revenue immediately and the sales are often very random.”

Also, it may require skill sets that not every artisan has. “You need to take good photographs, for instance; not everyone had access to that.” . For artisans, still struggling to overcome the losses they incurred during COVID-19, bazaars like these prove to be a kickstarter of sorts. “Craftspeople often lead a hand-to-mouth existence. Everything they earn will go back to their system. That is why having this Bazaar is important. If they make enough, they will be able to churn out other things.”

The Bengaluru Dastkar Bazaar will be held at the Jayamahal Palace Hotel, Bengaluru from May 23-29, from 10.30 AM to 8.30 PM. Entry fee is 50. Contact 91 98119 11700, 91 98997 07629 or email info@dastkar.org for more details

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