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Getting crafty

Here is an opportunity for you to discover the hidden heritage of the country during the 19th Dastkar Nature Bazaar at Pragati Maidan.

When the Obamas visited to the Capital last year, they talked serious business. But one thing even they
didn't miss out on was savouring the art and craft of the city. So, when the US first lady was on a shopping spree, she headed to the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum in Pragati Maidan.


Pic/rajeev tyagi

She was so captivated by the collection that she ran out of money buying them. That doesn't happen too often. The museum has recently brought together a variety in crafts from all states in the country as NGO Dastkar celebrates the theme 'Nature and Camel'. Various stalls of paintings, sculptures, clothing and modern art depicting several schools of thought can be found here.Dhirendra Kumar, from Bihar, having a painting stall in the museum, says, "There are 45 people in our organisation who work day and night to meet the demands of customers. Our sales are not just limited to the Indian market but overseas too."

Rudh Paul, program officer, Sasakaw India Leprosy Foundation, who is selling products made by leprosy patients, says, "We help leprosy-affected people by selling their works. People generally don't buy products from them, which is totally unjust."

The museum's collection comprises baskets made from grass, shawls, bedspreads, cotton and silk saris, quilts, paintings, lamps, spices, ritual accessories, wood and stone carvings, toys, decorative metal-ware, bamboo work, jewellery among other things.Performances by folk artists and musicians have been organised to entertain visitors, along with documentaries, theatre workshops and street plays.  "Such exhibitions display our culture and offer first-hand experience of craftsmanship. Here one can find the rarest and exquisite pieces of art and craft," says Swati Bagga, a visitor. So, go ahead, get crafty.

AT: National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, Pragati Maidan
Timings: 10 AM-5 PM
On till: 19 october
Ring: 23371887

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