After 10-month break, craft exhibitions are back in Kozhikode

A visitor taking a look at the handloom clothing items on display at the Rajasthan Grameen Mela in Kozhikode on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The Rajasthan Grameen Mela that began at the CSI Hall at Mananchira is the first handicrafts exhibition to be held in Kozhikode in the 10 months after the outbreak of COVID-19.

“That exhibitions are back in the city is a ray of hope for us,” said Suresh Pottekkad, an artisan who sells antique metal artefacts at the mela. Mr. Pottekkad said he was thrown into a state of utter poverty during the COVID-induced lockdown.

The artisan, in his 60s, said he used to spent most days in a year at various exhibitions. “I had put all my savings into preparing for exhibitions that were to be held closer to Vishu last year. But that never happened and I struggled to get past the financial crisis,” he said, adding that the financial aid provided by the State government did not help him much.

“We were waiting for the government to give the nod for exhibitions. This has become like home for us,” said Shobha Mohandas, an artisan selling bamboo artefacts and herbs.

The Rajasthan Grameen Mela features a variety of handloom and handicraft products such as stone jewellery, block print dress materials, traditional bedsheets, Bengal handworked sarees, black metal craft, Meenakari jewellery, Channapatna toys, and Rajasthani footwear. The exhibition is being held in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol.

The response to the mela was cold when it began on January 5. But people have started dropping in and the weekends are the busiest. “I used to visit every exhibition here for almost a decade before the lockdown. Now that they are back, it is like a breath of fresh air,” said Swetha, a visitor. The exhibition concludes on January 18.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 10:25:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/after-10-month-break-craft-exhibitions-are-back-in-kozhikode/article33562110.ece

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