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Three-day heritage loom and craft exhibition now open at Art Gallery

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 6

Celebrating the heritage looms and crafts of Punjab and the women, who have been promoting them through their skill, the three-day Virasat exhibition opened at Art Gallery on Saturday. Municipal Commissioner Komal Mittal inaugurated the exhibition which is being organised by Shramik Bharati under their pilot project, Virsa Punjab Women’s Craft.

The products displayed include furniture, the famous panja dari, bean bags made from jute and natural fibres, jewellery, handmade baskets, embroidered cushion covers, crochet and organic food. Shramik Bharti has been pushing for empowering women in rural sectors through social entrepreneurship programmes, implementing holistic rural development in 12 villages in Amritsar and Ferozepur districts.

Varinder Pal, project coordinator, Shramik Bharati, said, “Holistic rural development project works in the areas of infrastructure, natural resource management, livelihood, agriculture and education. The organisation hired four designers for scouting and identifying skills among rural women. Thereafter, the skill enhancement exercises started, which led to the production of the handicrafts and handloom items by 150 women in 12 villages that have been exhibited here.”

After two years of extensive skill and product development, Pal’s team has got together women artisans and weavers and set up Virsa Punjab Women’s Craft. “The aim was to ensure that every woman earns at least Rs200 per day for 200 days per year and such exhibitions would be held in promoting the brand and give an opportunity to women to interact with the masses. The exhibition will give them hope and dedication to work for themselves,” he said.

Heritage looms at the exhibition includes hand weaved ‘manjis or cots’ in contemporary designs and furniture, traditional ‘azaar-band’ or ‘naala’ made into statement jewellery pieces and accessories. Similarly, ‘panja dari’ craft has been modernised with innovative designs and mixed with crocheted embroidered work.

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