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More haats to be developed on patterns of Dilli Haat

By Madhur Tankha

NEW DELHI, APRIL 3. The success story of Dilli Haat in the Capital will soon be replicated in some other cities of the country. The Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, in association with various State Governments will set up around 31urban haats to showcase Indian and local culture, handicrafts and ethnic cuisines on the pattern of Dilli Haat.

Each haat, with the ambience of a traditional village market but suited more to contemporary needs, would be constructed at a cost of Rs.2 crore. There would be a rotational policy for artisans displaying their wares. These craftsmen would exhibit embroidered kurta, pottery, ornaments made from natural elements and curios. For food lovers a wide array of traditional Indian cuisines would be available in food stalls of various States.

The rationale behind the construction of these urban haats is to highlight the traditional skills of artisans and to free these craftsmen from the stranglehold of middlemen and bring them into direct contact with buyers from both Indian and abroad. Each haat will have stalls of all States of the country.

"We have sanctioned 31 urban haats that would be set up at prime locations across the country. Similar in size and ambience to Dilli Haat, these haats would provide a synthesis of crafts, food and culture activity of every State. Already, haats in Tirupati, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Karnal and Jammu are in operation," said the Additional Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textile, Ajay Kumar. In fact, handicrafts are the second largest provider of self-employment to craftsmen across the country and the retail industry is expecting to become a 300 billion dollars industry by 2010. There are over 20 million craftsmen today who depend on their traditional skills to keep their stoves burning during times of drought, lean harvest, flood and famine.

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