Bringing 50 national award winning sarees along with 600 sarees woven by master weavers from all parts of the country under one roof, Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India (CCIC) has presented saree lovers a unique gift.
Inaugurating the exhibition-cum-sale of hand woven sarees here at the Temple Towers today, Rashi Verma, Chairperson CCIC, Secretary of Ministry of Textiles urged people to buy handcrafted merchandise in order to promote Indian handicrafts.
She said, “We have organized this exhibition to help contribute to the traditional weavers and I sincerely hope that people in Chennai will buy and appreciate the work.”
Ranging from Rs.700 to Rs.75,000, the cottage emporium now houses a variety of sarees made from Bengal, Jaipur, Kota and Banaras cotton besides Tussur from Chattisgarh, Orrisa Ikkat, Mangalgiri from Andhra Pradesh and Madhubani sarees from Bihar.
With 15,000 artisans registered with CCIC; D.K.Mishra, General Manager of the emporium said, “What they need is a marketing platform and we provide exactly that. Moreover, we buy directly from the weavers on fair prices unlike private companies who exploit them by paying low wages.”
He added that the weavers were leaving the jobs because they were getting better wages through the program Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, “Fair wages is the only way to retain the artisans and their art.”
The lack of handicrafts from North-eastern States was apparent at the emporium to which Sindhu Rajesh, Assistant Manager of the store commented, ” Space constraint is a major deterrent. Delhi emporium is of 50,000 sq ft whereas ours is 14,000 sq ft due to which we keep merchandise only after assessing the demand in market.”
The CCIC has recently collaborated with e-commerce portals like Snapdeal and Shopclues to widen their customer base.
According to the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) , Ministry of Textiles Dr. Koothati Gopal export of Indian handicrafts amounts to 35,000 crore and thus it should be further promoted , ” For this purpose we identified artisans and trained them in addition to setting up several textiles hubs in remote areas.”