Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, March 22 – The ongoing Production Mela, a unique and pioneering initiative of the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) under the Union Ministry of Culture is providing a platform to 113 rural artisans from across the region to showcase their creativity as well as establish market linkage.
Participants at the Production Mela organised by the North East Zone Cultural Centre at Shilpgram in Guwahati on Sunday. – UB Photos
The Mela, which kicked off on Saturday at Shilpgram here with an aim to promote the art of traditional weaving and craftsmanship, will continue till March 31.
On the sidelines, some of the best wood sculptors from the region are also creating masterpieces depicting the cultural heritage of the eight north eastern states.
The Production Mela is giving an opportunity to rural artisans to directly communicate with prospective buyers.
“The traditional art forms which are practised predominantly by the rural communities, have little or no access to commercial market, thus leaving the very art that they practise at the grave risk of losing its worth or even worse,” said Lipokmar Tzudir, Director NEZCC.
He also stated that the alarming scenario is that the rural artisans are now opting for hazardous and laborious professions to meet the economic challenges, thus resulting in neglect of family responsibilities, besides health.
“The Government of India recognises that the artisans would be provided opportunities to engage themselves in line of their expertise through various schemes; but the extent of streamlining these resources to the rural areas by the implementing agencies is highly questionable,” he also mentioned.
Tzudir said that the NEZCC under the Union Ministry of Culture is more than willing to continue with this initiative in the region, but he also mentioned that it would require other ministries such as Tribal Affairs, Handloom and Textiles and DoNER besides others, to take a proactive role towards financing such programmes.
“With the number of brilliant artisans we have in the region, we can easily meet the demand of the global market, and if the policy makers want to realise the ‘Act East Policy’, this is one aspect that cannot be ignored. We cannot dream of reaching the moon whilst our own people are starving in their own kitchen” Tzudir said.