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Exhibiting a concern for handicraft
Published on 5 Feb. 2011 11:59 PM IST
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North Eastern Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation (NEHHDC), an organisation that attempts to develop and promote the indigenous crafts of the region, has set up a museum to showcase exclusive handloom, handicraft and textile products in the Gorchuk area of the city. NEHHDC plays an important role in connecting craftsmen to prospective markets and consumers and generating economic, cultural and social opportunities for artisans while adding cultural value for customers.
“The museum, once it has been opened to the public, will prove to be a great developmental initiative for the entire region. We have arranged to showcase almost every craft item produced in the northeast for the visitors,” said Jagdish Borah, managing director of NEHHDC, after the inauguration of an exhibition on handloom and textile items at NEDFi Haat in the city.
“Besides handicraft items, the museum will also provide information about the displayed products. This representation of the cultural aspect of northeastern crafts will make the place more interesting for tourists,” said Borah, adding that the museum will be open for the public by the end of February.
NEHHDC has already set up a common facility centre at Gorchuk which seeks to provide help to the artisans to make their job easier.
“We try to help craftsmen by providing them readymade bamboo sticks and other items to fashion their products,” said Dhiraj Thakuria, general manager of NEHHDC.
Borah will be heading for Birmingham in the United Kingdom shortly with some of the handloom and textile products from the northeast as there is a high demand for products from the region in western countries.
“Northeastern craftworks are popular in the West. We had put up a stall at a fair in Milan, France, where we saw an overwhelming response and all the products were sold out within two days. In England, too, there is a high demand for products from the region. Besides, many Indians reside there, increasing the prospects of selling ethnic products in the country. Besides saris and shawls, bamboo and cane products are popular,” said Borah.
“We are trying to modify the products from the designing point of view. We are in the process of giving them an international look to lure our foreign customers. For this purpose, we have provided several booklets to our producers,” he further said.
NEHHDC, which was incorporated in 1977, offers a range of products from all the eight northeastern states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The organisation procures handicrafts and handloom items from artisans and weavers across the region and retails them through its chain of Purbashree Emporiums located at Shillong, Guwahati, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore and a sales promotion office in Chennai. Moreover, it promotes the products in various national and international markets through exhibitions and trade fairs.
“Providing financial, technical and other assistance to craftsmen, weavers, co-operatives and other establishments is one of our prime aims,” said Dhiraj Thakuria, general manager of NEHHDC.

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