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Home > City Resources > Arts and Antiques > Swaymbhar-NARI Mela

Jute decorative articlesAre you looking for a bagful of interior decorative articles with in a limited budget? Visit the on ongoing handicrafts exhibition conducted by Swayambhar-NARI, at the YMCA, Secunderabad. Swayambhar-NARI, a Kolkata based organisation has been striving for the self-reliance of the economically down trodden people, since 1988. Swayambhar-NARI, in association with the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, is helping numerous people to be economically independent by providing vocational training in handicrafts manufacturing. The organisation also conducts exhibitions in various cities of India frequently so that its members can directly sell the products to the customers at reasonable rates.

Paper pulp creationsCompared to the exhibitions held in the city, the Swayambhar exhibition is small, but there is no dearth of items for the shopping lovers. The price of the exhibits ranged from Rs. 10 to Rs. 10,000. The striking feature of the exhibition is that most of the items made from eco-friendly raw material like jute, bamboo, paper pulp and cotton. Enter the exhibition hall; you will be greeted by an array of colourful interior decorating items, dress material for children, teens and adults as well and many more. On your left at the entrance you will find a variety of assorted dolls, necklaces, pendants made up of jute, by Mr. Santosh Chandra Lodh. Mr. Lodh, a resident of Kolkata exports many of his products to USA through Central Cottage Industry. He says, " Children are my target customers. Because they love to possess the dolls and like to present dolls as gifts." Next to this stall you will find many jute items like table mats, door mats, pot hangings, elephant faces (wall hangings), etc, all ranged between Rs. 20 and Rs. 1000. Move forward in the same direction. You would be amaze to see wide range of traditional cotton casual ware like kurthas, Bathik printed T-shirts selling just for Rs. 150.

Mrs. Sippy with her mini bouquetsAs you reach the extreme left of the hall, Mrs. Gopi Sippy, recieve you with a pleasant face to her stall. She is expert in making designer candles, mini artificial flower bouquets using jute, pottery and dry flowers. Mrs. Sippy, hails from Bangalore and she is one of the founder members of Swayambhar-NARI. She says, "I prepared all these items on my own. I deliberately used some pottery and bamboo raw material in my works, so that other down trodden people engaged in these professions can be benefited indirectly, through me." The exhibition brings to you the ancient Madhubani Art of Bihar in the form of wall hangings and photo frames which costs around Rs. 400. Traditionally the Madhubani art is done on hand made craft papers. But with the changing trends the artists now painting the pictures on T-shirts (Rs. 175), Dupattas (Rs. 150-Rs. 400) and Saarees (up to Rs. 3000) to keep the ancient art live in the modern era.

Bengali sareesNext to the Madubani Art stall, there are three stalls exclusively meant for the females. The stalls are filled with variety of bangles, earrings, fancy chains, purses etc. One of these stalls have square shaped artificial beads with alphabets inscribed on them. So you can order to make a designer key chain or pendant with your name. The cost of the each bead is just Rs. 3, and the making charges for the key chain or pendant is just Rs. 5. The extreme right of the hall is filled with Bengali cotton and silk sarees. The price of the cotton sarees ranged from Rs. 600 and Rs. 850 and silk sarees is from Rs. 2,500 to 4,000. Besides there are designer jute foot wear, lampshades made from paper pulp, greetings, dry flowers on display for sale at the mela. As the manufacturers are directly selling their products to the customers the rates of most of the items are low when compared to other retail shops in the city. The weeklong exhibition will conclude on 13 August 2001.
- Mohan G Jagan
Pics: David

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