With an aim to boost the market of its prized muslin fabric, the West Bengal government is planning to introduce a muslin tourism circuit in the state soon, a top official has said.
“Our aim is to bring our muslin tourism circuit to the forefront. We are planning to do it after Durga Pujas,” chairman of the West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) Gouri Sankar Dutta said.
The three places chosen by the board for the circuit are Baharampur in Mursidabad district and Akalpoush and Sasinara in Burdwan district, he said.
“We are also considering including Baluchar in Jiaganj in Murshidabad district in the circuit,” Dutta added.
Baluchar had been a hub for the exotic Baluchari saris and silk even in the 17th century.
The WBKVIB plans to take foreign tourists visiting West Bengal to these places and for the purpose it will take the help of the Society for Kindling Handicrafts and Indigenous Art which organises tours.
“We have foreigners visiting the conventional tourist destinations in Burdwan and Murshidabad districts. We want them to see how muslin fabric is manufactured. They (Society) will take the foreign tourists to the places chosen for the circuit,” another officer of WBKVIB said.
The Board is hopeful that the foreign embassies and consulates will help it in its plan.
“Foreigners love to sit with the weavers and join hands with them in the preparation of the handmade fine fabric. We feel that if we can provide them the oppurtunity to watch the production process, chances of them buying the products will go up,” the officer said.
WBKVIB has already conducted a pilot project in this connection in Burdwan and Baluchar.
“We are very happy with the kind of response we have received at these two places during the pilot project,” Dutta said.
The Board has already changed its stance in the marketing of muslin fabric keeping in mind the ensuing festive season.
“We have changed our marketing strategy. Apart from opening an exclusive outlet for muslin at a prime location in south Kolkata (Dakshinapan market) we have also tied up with an NGO for the sale of the fabric,” the Board official said.