National Handloom Expo-2017 kicks off in Odisha capital

Bhubaneswar: Governor Dr SC Jamir inaugurated National Handloom Expo-2017 at Idco Exhibition Ground in the city here on Monday.

The exhibition is organized by the Odisha State Handloom Weavers’ Cooperative Society Ltd (Boyanika) and sponsored by Development Commissioner for Handloom, Government of India.

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said India has a long tradition of excellence in making high quality handloom products with extraordinary skills and craftsmanship, which are unparalleled in the world. The intricate workmanship of the handlooms of many states provides it a unique identity of its own and fascinates people world over.

“Odisha is a land of rich artistic heritage. It is endowed with the abundance of creativity dating back to over thousands of years. Its cultural riches are well demonstrated through art, dance, literature, folklore, music, handloom and handicraft, etc. The art and culture of the state form the core of the essence of people’s existence. These are also an extension of people’s imagination and creative expression. The cultural heritage of the land keeps memories alive of how beliefs and cultural and artistic expressions have contributed to the development of society,” he added.

The Governor further said Odisha’s handloom sector has great demand with the people within the state and outside and even in foreign countries because of the exquisite work of the weavers. The inherent strength of Indian handloom products is required to be promoted with new and innovative designs, colour combinations and defect free weaving for meeting the need of the market.

The handloom sector is one of the largest unorganized economic activities after agriculture and constitutes an integral part of the rural and semi-rural livelihood. Handloom weaving constitutes one of the richest and most vibrant aspects of the Indian cultural heritage. The sector has several advantages. Being less capital intensive, it has minimal use of power. It is eco-friendly and there is flexibility of small production. It is open to innovations and adaptable to market requirements, Governor added.

The objective of the National Handloom Expo is to showcase handloom products of various states of India and with that it would thrive to promote the prosperous Indian heritage and culture. It would also provide weavers the opportunity to network with customers and handloom importers. The Expo is a unique opportunity for the handloom exporters to expand their market.

“I am happy to note that the Expo has been quite popular which is evident from the visit by handloom buyers and handloom importers every day in large number. The Handloom Expo has truly evolved as an exclusive platform for the handloom artisans to promote their products among the handloom importers and buyers,” the Governor observed.

Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary R Balakrishan, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Handloom, Textiles and Handicrafts, Chithra Arumugam and Managing Director, Boyanika, Bishnu Prasad Mishra spoke on the occasion.

Governor along with lady Governor visited stalls including theme pavilion, which is depicted in shape of Dakhina Kali Temple, Kolkata.

A total of 110 stalls have been opened for the participants of 18 states. The expo will remain open from 11.30 AM to 9 PM till its conclusion on February 26.