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India International Trade Fair 2018: Encouraging response to Hunar Haat

The IITF 2018 marks the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.

Dilip Guha | New Delhi | Updated :

India International Trade Fair 2018: The annual India International Trade Fair (IITF) has always been a special occasion for Delhiites to visit and participate in. The IITF offers an opportunity to showcase Indian tradition, culture and enterprising activities under one umbrella.

With the theme of ‘Rural Enterprises in India’, the 38th edition of India International Trade Fair is currently underway at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

People are, like always, braving heavy crowds to flock to the various pavilions to indulge their inner shopaholics and foodies despite the fair being restricted to merely one-fourth of the erstwhile area due to ongoing construction work.

Owing to space constraints, priority has been given to artisans, craftsmen and states this year, and the number of visitors has been capped to 25,000 per day from 60,000 per day previous year.

The Assam Pavilion has been designed and decorated to exhibit the strength of the state in bamboo, wood and tea sectors, giving a modern look. It has been able to draw huge crowds. Keeping in tune with this year’s theme of ‘Rural Enterprises of India’, products of rural enterprises of the state, such as bell metal products, masks, terracotta products, Assam silk, traditional jewellery, decorative candles, water hyacinth products and arecanut leaf plates have been displayed in the pavilion. Special tea tasting sessions are a major attraction this year.

The theme pavilion, ‘Rural Enterprises in India’, has been set up by the Ministry of Rural Development. The fair showcases various initiatives of the Government of India, such as Make in India, Startup India, Digital India, Skill India and Swachh Bharat.

The IITF 2018 marks the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. As visitors enter Hall-7 of Khadi India, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi greets them. Written above are the words, ‘Selfie with Gandhiji’.

Apart from the rural handicrafts in the state pavilions, as many as 94 master artisans mainly belonging to minorities from 22 states are making a mark with a treasure trove created with their traditional skills at the Hunar Haat.

Organised by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, Hunar Haat showcases exquisite handicraft and handloom products made by master artisans. Various delicacies from across the country are available under one roof. Hunar Haat has succeeded in providing the artisans and craftsmen domestic and international markets.

Handicraft and handloom products such as ajarakh, bagh print, bandhej, Barmer ajrakh and applique, bidriware, cane and bamboo products, carpet, Chanderi, chaniya choli, chikankari, copper bell product, copperware, ceramic products and items made of jute, paper-mache, linen products, metal ware, mud work, mulberry silk, Paithani silk, Phulkari, Punjabi jutti, zari bags and much more have found many takers.

Many shoppers said they were getting quality products at throwaway prices.

Surinder, who visited the fair with his friends on Sunday, said he bought jute handicrafts, bags etc. “Despite space constraint and lesser stalls, it is delightful to see eye-catching products by master craftsman. I like what the artists did with jute and bamboo sticks, especially the igniting lamps and flower holders and also dress materials,” he added.