Pongal Crafts Fair begins

Alluring:Exhibits at the Poompuhar fair in the city.— Photo: S. JamesA variety of handicrafts and handlooms from many States.

Handicrafts from across the country are on display at the ‘Pongal Crafts Fair’ organised by the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation’s Poompuhar at the Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) auditorium in the city. The fair was inaugurated by Collector L. Subramanian on Thursday evening.

The fair has a variety of handicrafts and handlooms from the State as well as a number of traditional handicrafts from the northern and eastern states. According to the artisans, who had kept handicrafts and handlooms on display, said participating in an exhibition meant wider reach for their products. “Thanks to the number of customers who walk in to see a range of handicrafts, we are often able to secure bulk orders which are profitable,” said A. Parameswari, member of a self-help group, which displays small craft items made of crotchet.

P. Karuppiah from Madurai has kept on display a range of wood paintings which he procured from Orissa. “Crafts such as Dhokra work are rare to find outside the State they are made. By procuring them and taking them to exhibitions, we get a number of customers who are interested in them,” he said.

A range of gold-plated jewellery such as chains, earrings, bangles and rings with stone work is on sale. “Despite many retail outlets offering the same fare, we have an established base of customers, given the fact that our prices are a bit low and the quality is good,” said J. Selvakumar, an artisan from Coimbatore.

Echoing his view, L.S. Ramesh, who has a small unit that designs and produces saris, says his cotton and sungudi saris have a good patronage. “Exclusive designs and pure fabric has worked in our favour,” he said.

The fair also has on display sandalwood products, teakwood furniture, Channapatna toys, brass lamps, bedspreads and dress materials. A discount of 10 per cent is given for all handicraft items in the fair which will go on till January 13, Poompuhar showroom manager A.N. Xavier said.



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