New Delhi, 15th Nov, 2016:Press release regarding inauguration of “Hunar Haat”, being organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs at India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2016 at New Delhi:

Union Minister of State for Power and Coal (Independent Charge) Shri Piyush Goyal; Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi & Minister of State for External Affairs Shri M J Akbar today inaugurated “Hunar Haat”, which is being organised at India International Trade Fair (2016) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi by Ministry of Minority Affairs.

About 184 master artisans from all corners of the country are showcasing their traditional art and skills at “Hunar Haat” at India International Trade Fair.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Goyal said that this exhibition is an outstanding display of traditional Indian art and handicrafts. Preserving the rich traditional and culture of our artisans is our duty. Shri Goyal said that he is delighted to see the good work done by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Shri Akbar said that through this “Hunar Haat”, the art of living has joined the art of livelihood. This is the true genius of the people, our nation is blessed. This genius ethos through history and will echo into the future. Shri Akbar said that this exhibition has provided such a big market to these artisans.

Shri Naqvi said that “Hunar Haat” (Skill Haat) exhibition is aimed at promoting and supporting artisans from Minority communities and providing them domestic as well as international market for display and sell their products. This is providing an excellent platform to artisans belonging to Minority communities from across the nation to display their art and skills before the domestic and international visitors. “Hunar Haat” is an amazing gathering of artisans from every corner from 26 states and Union Territories of the country.

The exhibition is being organized in Hall No. 14 of Pragati Maidan by National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) under scheme “USTTAD” (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) of Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Shri Naqvi said that one of the special feature of this unique “Hunar Haat” is that besides providing free of cost stall to artisans/craftsmen, the Minority Affairs Ministry has also made arrangements for their transport and helping in their daily expenses. This has helped “poor but rich in art & skill” artisans to reach Delhi easily and display their arts/skills at the international platform in the form of International Trade Fair.

The exhibition includes artefacts made by cane and bamboo in North eastern states; cloth work and embroidery (chikan) work, brass artefacts, Jardoji clothes work of Uttar Pradesh; collection of pottery work of Southern states; sandalwood and other wooden artefacts; handicrafts from Bihar-Jharkhand; indigenous goods for domestic use from Bengal-Odisha and herbal products made from aloe vera, neem, tulsi etc.

The exhibition at “Hunar Haat” is also displaying other arts/crafts like marble work from Rajasthan; beautiful handicrafts from Gujarat; Pashmina and bronze work from Kashmir. Besides, centuries old Ayurvedic, Unani health care; glass artefacts; Indian silk-cotton work are also a part of the exhibition. The artisans are also displaying their skills of making products live before the people at the Trade Fair.

The USTTAD scheme aims at preserving & promoting the rich heritage of the traditional arts & crafts of the Minority communities. These crafts have gradually lost their employability in the light of globalisation & competitive market.

This has demotivated the younger generation including the wards of master craft persons to look for different avenues for livelihood. This Ministry is trying to preserve such art forms through inputs such as better marketing linkage, new designs, better packaging, training & credit linkage.

Shri Naqvi said that he had written to Chief Ministers of all the states requesting them to direct the concerned Department of their respective states to make aware talented artisans and craft persons about this exhibition and encourage them to attend “Hunar Haat”. Altogether around 740 applications were received and after careful consideration and scrutiny of applications, more than 184 artisans were shortlisted to display their arts and skills in about 100 stalls.

Shri Naqvi appealed to the people to come in large number at “Hunar Haat” and encourage these master artisans.

The shortlisted artisans include several State/National Awardees from 5 Minority communities representing as many as 26 states and Union Territories.

These artisans include from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Bihar. Besides these states, artisans from Leh-Laddakh to Manipur, Nagaland to Kerala are also participating in “Hunar Haat”.

A special pavilion has also been put up in “Hunar Haat” exhibition area for audio-visual depiction of schemes & programs of the Ministry of Minority Affairs.