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Handloom Expo a big hit

india Updated: Nov 27, 2006 15:41 IST

THE NATIONAL Handloom Expo at Bhopal Haat has received an overwhelming response both in terms of sales and entertainment. Till Sunday, it registered a cumulative sale of Rs 5.03 crore.

Organised by MP Handicrafts & Handloom Development Corporation and sponsored by Union Ministry of Textiles, the ongoing Handloom Expo has made Bhopal Haat a centre of happening in the City. The expo  began on November 10.

Whether it is availability and display of handloom products, variety, decoration or simply marketing of state-based products, organisers are striving to offer a right blend of business and entertainment.

As one moves from one stall to another, one can see changing trends and variety of handloom products — from garments to upholstery, carpets to blankets. Each participating state has tried its best to gain an edge over the other. Eleven states — UP, Jammu&Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, MP, West Bengal,

Assam, Rajasthan, Haryana, Pondicherry, Delhi and Maharashtra have
come up with its unique range and variety of products through its multiple stalls. If Bengal has presented its latest t ‘Kantha-stitch’ or Baluchari saris, UP has carved a niche with its ‘Lucknawi kurtaas’; if Rajasthan’s stalls are exhibiting traditional ‘ghagra-choli’, Haryana has an impressive range of upholsteries to offer. 

The discount offers are quite attractive. Hundreds of visitors could be seen heading for the Bhopal Haat on Sunday to get the best bargain.

“Our Friday sale was Rs 39.58 lakh and we expect it to cross Rs 60 lakh today because of Sunday,” said MPHHDC’s CR Chheepa. Till date, UP and J&K states have registered highest sales to the tune of Rs 25 lakh.

Some of the customers were heard complaining about high price of products. “It’s not true. An exclusive sari, which we’re offering at Rs 2,500, costs above Rs 4,000 in exclusive showrooms and we also offer discounts,” said the stall owner of West Bengal.

However, several stall-owners have their own grievance when it comes to bargaining over price. “There’s heavy bargaining in comparison to sale,” a J&K stall owner lamented.  

Food joints are also doing a thriving business. One can choose from South Indian delicacies to North Indian chaats, fast-food items to Mumbai’s bhelpuri, sugar-candies to ice creams and hot jalebis — to cater to taste buds of Bhopalis. 

The cultural programmes in evening with its kaleidoscopic variety on the Haat premises helped organisers to woo visitors in large numbers. “We’ve been presenting programmes right from traditional folk to modern dance, magic shows to musical nites – to avoid boredom,” said in charge of cultural programmes Sudesh Shrivastava.

While the children are engaged in the games zone, their parents could easily make rounds visiting stalls. In addition, paintings and few handicraft items are also on display for sale.

The Sunday magic show by Vijay Mahobe and his group was successful in drawing a large gathering. The ‘Theme Pavilion’ is a special attraction as it has tried to inform visitors on the handloom production through live demo of loom weaving and fabrics. The soft music of shehnai in evening is enough to make at least one visit.  

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