Workers give final touches to the stalls at the fair venue on Monday. Picture by Eastern Projections
Dec. 29: It will be a riot of colours when the National Handloom Expo 2008 gets under way at the Karma Shree Hiteswar Saikia College field tomorrow with a separate pavilion on colours.
The organisers of the fair, the Assam Apex Weavers and Artisans Co-operative Federation Ltd (Artfed), today said this pavilion would showcase how colours play an important part in the lifestyle of different tribes and communities.
For instance, yellow is dominant in the traditional dresses of the Bodos while green is inseparable from Karbi dresses. Visitors to the fair will be able to learn more about the colours of different people at their stalls, Artfed managing director R.N. Sarmah said.
The pavilion will also highlight the link between colours and occasions and seasons. The peoples choice of colours will also help us in making our own handloom products according to their needs, Sarmah said.
The fair, which will continue till January 19, has been organised by Artfed in collaboration with the development commissioner for handlooms under the Union ministry of textiles.
Social welfare minister Akon Bora will inaugurate the expo tomorrow.
Altogether 70 stalls from different states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal besides the Northeast will participate in the fair, Sarmah said.
The Artfed has targeted a sale of Rs 10 crore this year, which is Rs 2 crore more than last years sale.
To attract more visitors, the organisers have planned cultural shows every evening as well as technical workshops to train youths on making handloom products.
The cultural evenings will be organised with singers and actors from the Assamese film industry as well as from Bollywood.
Sarmah said many educated unemployed youths could earn a living by making handloom products. We are trying to bring experts from outside to attend these workshops, he added.
The Artfed had recently participated in an international expo in Japan to promote Assams muga, eri and traditional dresses in the international market. It will participate in international fairs in the UK in February and in Latin America in March.
The ministry of textiles has sanctioned Rs 38 lakh to the Artfed to hold this handloom expo in Guwahati.
The expo will not only benefit the participants but also be profitable for the consumers who will get a 10 per cent rebate on all products in the fair.
Last year, there was no entry fee for the handloom expo. But this time, we are planning to introduce entry fee in order to regulate the crowd in view of the law and order situation. There will be adequate security arrangements at the expo, Sarmah said.