| Bags and kurtas on display at a stall at the handloom expo on Sinha Library premises in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Patna, Feb. 27: Disappointment was the only emotion for the weavers and traders on the final day of the Special Handloom Expo 2010-11 on the premises of Sinha Library.
Most of the traders, who had put up stalls at the 12-day event, said they were frustrated by the apathy of the consumers.
Many of them had come from different parts of the country and expressed dissatisfaction over the facilities provided at the expo, organised by the Union ministry of textiles and the state government.
There were only two toilets for more than 250 people, said one of the traders.
“We have incurred a loss of Rs 2 lakh. The customers did not buy much. We were told it is an expo so we came eagerly. But is this the way to organise an expo? There are hardly any facilities here,” said Tarun Channan, a weaver from Panipat in Haryana.
Channan, who had beautiful handloom cushion covers, bed sheets, blankets and other dress material, said he was disappointed with the expo.
Gaurav Shingla, another stall owner, said: “This is not an expo at all. An expo is usually organised at a large venue. But there is hardly any space here and no facilities. The arrangements, too, are no good.”
Kashmir resident Sohail Ahmad Wani said he would not like to return to the state.
“We did not earn much. I don’t want to come back to Bihar,” he said.
Wani, who was selling pashmina shawls and salwar suits, said the facilities too were lacking.
“There was no ceiling before. Nor was their any mat on the floor,” he said.
Some of the shopkeepers and weavers also had to stay at hotels or go elsewhere for basic amenities.
The water provided at the expo was not clean enough and many of them had diarrhoea after drinking it, said a trader.
Others complained that the stalls had not been properly constructed and only cloth partition had been put up between them. Many of the stalls also did not have racks to keep things on.
Some of the traders recovered their investments and were satisfied with the business.
Sheikh Akhtar Ali of Jammu and Kashmir State Handloom Development Corporation Limited, who had tweed and coat pieces in his stall, said: “It was off season so we did not sell much. But we made even, so it is ok.”
Mohammed Nawaz from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh said he had been able to sell khadi kurtas and cotton shirts.
“Perhaps we would have sold more if the expo had been organised closer to Holi,” said Nawaz.