Help us, artisans echo at crafts bazar

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By Sapam Tarangchhen

IMPHAL, April 4: Many art forms are dying as artisans struggle to eke their livelihood without anyone noticing their arts and crafts. The government must aid the artisans in producing their works of arts and crafts.

This was stated by Kiran Ningthoujam, a stall keeper, during the Peace Crafts Bazar, organised by People Education for Awareness and Community Empowerment Organization (PEACE) under the sponsorship of the Development Commissioner (Handicraft), Union Ministry of Textiles at Wangkhei Keithel Ashangbi. The Crafts Bazaar started on March 30 and will continue till 8 April.

The proprietor of NK Artificial Crafts, Lilong Chajing Konjeng Leikai, said that if an artist produces enough than they could easily manage their families by selling their arts and crafts. Adding that despite holding a card issued by the DC Handicraft he hasn’t get any subsidies or fund from the concerned departments, he said that he had heard about the government aiding many artisans in their projects on meetings and through the media but in reality he didn’t get any aid from the government.

The 35-years-old said that his work ‘Siroy Lily’ made from maize leaves is special and he expects a state award for his artistic creation, adding that he hasn’t sold his product due to concerns of his original creation being duplicated but has presented it to many high officials for the recognition of his work.

Most of the stalls at the ongoing ten-day long festival are finding it tough to earn 2000 rupees per day due to the shortage of the visitors. However, some stalls are earning around 15 thousand.  Despite the claims of the organisers, the participation of the stalls in the festival is visibly quite low.  Most of the stalls were empty but, some stall-owners said, from Thursday some stalls have joined to participate.

A 60-years-old stall owner from Keisamthong Thangjam Leikai said that the reason of the scarcity of visitor is due to the lack of awareness about the Peace Crafts Bazar, and added that more advertisements about the event are needed.

“I joined the Crafts Bazaar on Thursday after participating in the HADO Crafts Bazaar. However, our stall was able to make sells about 9 thousand,” said a stall owner.

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