Delhi-based NGO Dastkar is returning to Mumbai after a gap of six years with their Dastkar Mumbai Bazaar. With nearly 75 – 80 stalls, the 11 day exhibition starting on May 13 will bring together artisans from 18 states, showcasing a collection of art, handcrafted fabrics, accessories and gift items from across the rural heartlands of India. The organisation was set up in 1981 with an objective to improve the economic status of craftspeople, while also promoting traditional crafts.
“Our experience with Mumbai has always been great. The people here are generous and welcoming. Moreover, they appreciate art and are particular about designs. So, the craftsmen like to come and display their work here,” smiles Laila Tyabji, chairperson of Dastkar.
On being probed about whether Dastkar plans to make this exhibition in the city an annual feature, Tyabji says, “We would love to come here every year, but sadly, due to the shortage of open spaces we are not able to do that. In the space that we displaying at this time, we haven’t been able to accommodate even half of the artisans.”
Dastkar is also known to conduct nature bazaars in Delhi and Bangalore, where along with the numerous stalls, they have demonstrations and shows. Tyabji adds, “Nature bazaars need large grounds, so that shows can take place along with the stalls. I feel strongly that demonstrations are part of a holistic cultural experience.”
Products by Accor, a French foundation that has been helping Dastkar with product designs will be highlighted by the artisans in the bazaar.
The works will include pattachitra, bead work, weaving, jewellry, embroidery, tie and dye, prints, footwear, painting, decoratives, patch work, leather, cane and bamboo products, sarees, textiles and assorted wooden products among others.