State Handloom Expo in Manipur offers platform to displaced artisans

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The Manipur Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, in collaboration with the Development Commissioner for Handloom and Handicrafts under the Ministry of Textiles, organized a 14-day State Handloom Expo (Hathkargha Mela) at Urban Haat, Nilakuthi in Imphal.

This mela, organized primarily to support local weavers and artisans, especially those affected by the ongoing civil unrest between the Kukis and Meiteis, would prove beneficial to the displaced weavers and artisans due to the conflict. The Mela opened to the public on September 7, 2023. Altogether 60 stalls including 41 handloom stalls, 12 handicraft stalls, 3 KVIB & KVIC stalls, 1 youth craft stalls, 2 food stalls and 1 promotional stall were opened at the Expo which would be held till September 20, 2023.

The expo is here to celebrate the great weaving and craft skills in Manipur and to help people who have had a tough time due to the ongoing conflict. There are 60 different stalls at the expo, and some of them show the craftsmanship of people who had to leave their homes. The idea is to make it easier for people in relief camps to sell the things they make because there aren’t many places for them to sell their hand-made things.

E Jeeten, the Managing Director of the Corporation, empathized with the artisans who were compelled to leave their homes due to the ongoing conflict between the Kukis and the Meiteis. He assured that the Manipur Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited is prepared and committed to purchasing their exquisite creations. He hopes that the little they do for them would provide them with some earnings and support during these challenging times.

Priyadarshi Daripa, the deputy director of the Weavers Service Centre, emphasized the critical significance of the expo, highlighting how it offers a unique and invaluable opportunity for individuals who were forced to leave their homes. This expo would enable them to showcase and sell the items they’ve skillfully crafted while residing in relief camps. It would provide them an opportunity in restoring both stability and a much-needed source of income during these challenging times.

The inaugral ceremony was graced by M Sanjeevkumar, who is the Deputy Director (H) of the Office of Development Commissioner for Handicrafts, and Y Ashalata Devi, who manages projects for handlooms and textiles in Imphal East among several others.

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