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Showcasing artisans' ware

The crafts exhibition at Putharikandam Maidan is turning out to be a crowd-puller

Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar

Attractive handicrafts at affordable prices

THE ALL-India Handicrafts Fair organised by the Handicrafts Development Corporation of Kerala at Putharikandam Maidan in the city offers a mix of ethnic and utilitarian ware if one goes by the nature of the products that are on display in the 67 stalls.

Dubbed to be the first crafts bazaar of its kind with participation of artisans from States such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh, the purpose of this fair, according to Rajan P. Abraham, managing director, Handicrafts Development Corporation of Kerala, is to provide an avenue for the artisans to showcase their wares. "This fair is intended to give an opportunity to the artisans to sell directly their products and provide them a chance to understand market preferences through direct interaction with customers."

Aesthetics and utility

Granite teapoys, side stands and cell phone holders are something different. According to its creator, Saajan Wilson of Anayara, it is a "first attempt." These granite pieces are priced between Rs.1,500 and Rs. 2,500. Pen stands and candle stands in `wrought iron with powder coating and silver oxidized coating' ranging from Rs. 30 to Rs. 600 are useful as they are unbreakable. `Panchaloha' statues of Radha and Krishna and Ganapathy stand out for their attractive finish and design.

Those visiting the fair for ethnic pieces may find jute wall hangings with colourful designs and Disney characters quite fascinating. Like other fairs, this one too has stalls selling clothing, semi-precious stones, pottery and terracotta. Available are hand embroidered Churidar materials from Jaipur and Kashmir. Silk Pashmina and Cotton Pashmina shawls that are priced between Rs. 350 and Rs.1,500 are a viable alternative to the original Pashminas.

Emerging as a major crowd-puller is the stall dedicated to cushions, footwear, beds and mats lined with `ramacham' (botanically Vettiveria zezanoides). Says the Nilambur-based Suresh Kumar, who has been dealing in these products for the past eight years: "These wash-and-use products have proved to be very useful in relieving back pain, heel pain and preventing cracking of the heels." These products cost between Rs. 90 and Rs.2,000. Also on offer is `Ramacham Thailam' that "prevents prickly heat and cools the body alongside a providing refreshing bath when mixed in bath water."

A discount of 10 to 15 per cent is being offered for purchases made at the fair, which is on till March 27.

REMA SUNDAR

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