Hub to promote Orissa silver art

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Cuttack
  • Published 13.11.08
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Cuttack, Nov. 13: A major initiative to support and mobilise Orissa’s filigree artisans is on the cards.

The initiative, involving both the central and the state governments, would be launched under the Union government’s circuit development scheme. The project would be linked with the tourism sector in the state as plans are afoot to set up a “Silver Filigree Centre” at Mundasahi on the banks of Mahanadi river near here under the aegis of the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC).

Official sources said the project was conceived to identify the filigree potential in Cuttack and to ensure that artisans were not quitting their profession. An official survey had revealed that most of the silver filigree artisans wanted to sustain their skills provided it offers them benefit.

“The idea of setting up the Silver Filigree Centre at Mundasahi has been planned to link Tarkashi or silver filigree and tourism. The filigree centre will allow the tourists to go to a place showcasing the artisans’ work,” Cuttack collector Kishore Kumar Mohanty told The Telegraph.

“Funds to the tune of Rs 1 crore from the Union government under its Circuit Development Scheme will be used to make the project a reality,” the Cuttack collector said, adding that the district administration had demarcated a three acre plot for the project. “The allotment of the land for it is under process,” he said.

Sources in OTDC said the initiative to give a fillip to the Cuttack Tarkashi art form involves identification of traditional artisans, bringing them under one roof and setting up infrastructure for live demonstration of the intricate method involved in the silver filigree work with a product sale facility. The proposed centre also envisages food, recreational facility and amusement park for children.

“Cuttack Tarkashi is known the world over and has immense tourist potential. The proposed Silver Filigree Centre is expected to attract tourists by offering the twin pleasures of traditional handmade Tarkashi and progress from fine silver wires into a connoisseur’s envy,” an OTDC official said.