The father of the nation always believed in empowering women across a cross-section of society. This meant not just taking to the spinning wheel but honing craftsmanship to set up a self-sufficient rural enterprise. Ba, Bapu and Shilp Kala, known as ‘Hunar Haat’ – a special feature of a five-day festival – displayed the skills of around 450 artisans and craftsmen from across the country. It was inaugurated recently by Rekha Sharma, chairperson, National Commission for Women at the Ambedkar International Centre.
There were knife-makers, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, weed mat-makers, folk painters and handloom artisans, among others who displayed utility, ritual and decorative crafts.
While inaugurating the festival, Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA said, “The purpose of organising such a festival was not just to highlight and showcase the talents of different artisans and craftsmen but also to provide them a livelihood through this platform.” The cultural festival seeks to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of self sufficient villages, and was organised in partnership with Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra, a non-governmental organisation which train artisans and promotes handicrafts made out of bamboo.
Addressing the gathering, Rekha said, “We are able to witness the vision and dreams of Gandhiji through, ‘Making in India, Skill India.”
Tara Gandhi Bhattacharya, grand daughter of Gandhiji shared her childhood memories with both Kasturba and Mahatma Gandhi. She said, “The need of the hour is to make women literate even though she is educated.”
Dr Mahesh Sharma, Trustee IGNCA, said that Gandhiji was not against modern technology but was afraid that technological advancement might replace human beings. He further added, “If we do not highlight the works of craftsmen in ‘Making India’ festival then it is of no use to them.”
Experts from IIT were invited to spend time with the craftsmen and to closely observe and study their craftsmanship, in order to guide them and also to teach them how they could improve their skills and increase their productivity.
(The exhibition ends today.)
Courtesy: The Pioneer
Writer: Team Viva