New Delhi: In a bid to provide economic empowerment to thousands of poor artisans and showcase some of most unique and dying indigenous arts and crafts from across the country, the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs is organising a 10-day skills festival called the “Hunar Haat” in the national capital from 13-23 February.
The 10-day skill festival this time has brought together more than 1,000 artisans from across the country with over 250 stalls spread over at the India Gate lawns where these artisans have been given a platform to display their talent for art and craft.
What makes this festival of art and crafts stand out this time is that the Ministry has selected more than 50% of women artisans from across the country to display their handmade art works and products.
The Ministry has also carefully crafted a special Kashmir outreach programme at the Hunar Haat festival where hundreds of Kashmiri artisans have been brought to Delhi to display some of the most unique and indigenous art and crafts from Kashmir.
The programme, which has been named as “Kashmir ki Waadiyon”, has been designed to encourage more and more participation from artisans in Kashmir. The Ministry has also dedicated an evening in the name of Kashmir—“ek Shaam Kashmir ki Waadiyon k naam”—where singers and dancers from Kashmir would be taking part in the cultural activities at the Hunar Haat.
Apart from this, some of the most unique art and crafts that have been put on display at the Hunar Haat includes a stall that displays feather painting where the artisan paints motifs and portraits on a feather. It is unique in a sense that this artisan from Gujarat is only one of very few across the country who has got this talent.
The other rare art at this festival includes a stall where a lady from Kutch in Gujarat has come over to display her talent on pebble painting. The artisan told The Sunday Guardian, “The pebble painting you see here are all made by me. The unique thing about this is that none of the pebbles I use is altered in its shape or size; all the pebbles used in the painting are natural and in their natural shape.”
Apart from the several artistic displays of arts and crafts at this festival, several culinary shops from different states and cities have also been brought in to showcase the different food items that are eaten across the country.
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “Hunar Haat has become a ‘Mega Mission’ of indigenous craft, cuisine and culture and economic empowerment of master artisans and craftsmen. About 3 lakh master artisans, craftsmen and culinary experts have been provided employment and employment opportunities through the Hunar Haat in the last about three years. These beneficiaries include a large number of women artisans.” “Hunar Haat” has been organised at various places in the country such as Delhi, Mumbai, Prayagraj, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Puducherry and Indore.
The next “Hunar Haat” will be organised at Ranchi from 29 February to 8 March and in Chandigarh from 13-22 March, this year. In the coming days, “Hunar Haat” will be organised in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata among other cities.