Tanter Haat on at Central Park
The annual handloom fair — Banglar Tanter Haat — is back at the Central Park Fairgrounds till January 5, 1pm to 9pm.
The fair was inaugurated on Christmas by Swapan Debnath, minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises and textiles department along with other dignitaries. “Singers, elocutionists, painters are called artistes but sadly, those employed with creating the clothes we wear have always been denied this respect. Handloom is a massive cottage industry in our state, employing about 7 lakh people and our government is providing them recognition and support.”
The minister cited various scheme they have undertaken to help artisans. “The pandemic hit them hard but the government kept purchasing lungis, dhotis and saris from them as disaster relief material. It kept them afloat,” said Rajesh Pandey, principal secretary, micro, small and medium enterprises and textiles department.
The fair has brought together stalls selling Baluchari, Dhonekhali, Tangail, jamdani, muslin, Santipuri and garod saris. There are also men’s wear like kurtas and Modi jackets. In 2019 there were 298 stalls comprising primary weavers co-operative societies, self help groups, custers, khadi sectors and individuals with cumulative sales of more than Rs 6 crore.
Banglar Tanter Haat is in its 14th year now but due to Covid-19, got postponed from its usual pre-Puja dates to winter. This year in an attempt to maintain Covid protocols the number of stalls has been capped at 200. Government units like Tantuja and Manjusha have set shop, there theme pavilions besides a handful of jewellery and food stalls.