The Hunar Haat is gradually earning a reputation as a place where creative re-inventions by Indian artisans could be found. According to the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA), Hunar Haat has brought to the fore around 1,800 primary artisans across states. Hunar Haat was started as a means of providing a platform for minority community artisans to reach a larger consumer base and generate employment.
As per estimates, close to Rs 150 crore of goods have been bought and sold. Approximately 300 primary artisan per hunar haat, 10-15 helpers with every artisan, have got exposure to urban consumers. The ministry has also paid Rs 1,200 per day to every artisan. Hunar Haat is being organised under “USTAAD” scheme of MoMA to provide employment to master artisans and culinary experts from across the country.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, minister for Minority Affairs, said, “Hunar Haat has become a credible brand to fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to ‘Make in India’, ‘Stand up India’, ‘Start up India’ schemes. In the last one year, Hunar Haat has been organised at various parts of the country and has been successful in providing employment opportunities to over three lakh artisans and other people associated with them.”
At the sixth Hunar Haat ongoing at Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught Place, a calligrapher based in Delhi, Mohammad Zubair’s kiosk particularly caught a lot of attention of the curious shoppers who wanted to get their names and messages painted in Urdu and Arabic scripts. Zubair’s student Arshad, a 19-year-old boy, who has been learning calligraphy for two years now, said, “This is a great platform to test one’s skills. I still see myself as an amateur, but when people give me compliments for my writing, it really boosts confidence. Urdu and Arabic calligraphy are getting more popular now.”
Another new addition to Hunar Haat was a kiosk of “Poshidakari” set up by Rajasthan-based Nawed Akhtar. Akhtar explained that the literal translation of Poshidakari is “art of hiding”. Akhtar said, “We use flowers, leaves, buds and transform the dried nature into jewellery. It is all done by hand and is delicate work.”
Akhtar’s partner Chandrika added, “Our brand Grasroutes uses variety of flora to make therapeutic products. Poshidakari is a young art that we started discovering two years ago when we experimented with many flowers, buds etc. We already had to transform it into well-preserved wearable items. The response here in Hunar Haat has been good and we have got a lot of useful feedback.”