Crafts bazaar in Delhi: Farm, folks and culture converge here

Published on Jan 06, 2022 11:18 AM IST

Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar is back to the Capital, and reiterates the interdependent relationship between crafts and agriculture. It has on display handicrafts made by artisans from across India. Visitors can also interact with the karigars from Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi.

Visitors are mandated to wear face masks at the fortnight-long fair, which will remain shut on weekends in accordance with Covid-19 curbs in the Capital. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Visitors are mandated to wear face masks at the fortnight-long fair, which will remain shut on weekends in accordance with Covid-19 curbs in the Capital. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
BySiddhi Jain, New Delhi

Culture and agriculture have almost always been intrinsically linked. And presenting this link through deftly handmade Indian art and crafts is the annual event, Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar. In its thirty sixth edition, the haat that’s themed on Krishi aur Kala, presents a confluence of artisans and master craftsmen from across the country.

Only 50% stalls are operational, due to the Covid situation, but the organisers felt it was important to go ahead with the event, to be able to support the artisans who work all year round to come and present their skills here. Jaya Jaitly, president of Dastkari Haat Samiti, says, “Before the industrial society began, the artisan and the farmer were always intrinsically linked. At a weekly or daily haat, the farmer would bring their produce, and the karigar would bring the knives, baskets, clayware, terracotta, etc. The carpenter would make the handloom and the plough from wood... so there was an independence. That’s why so many festivals in India are surrounding the harvest season. With this theme, we wanted to reiterate this interdependence.”

Wicker baskets that can double up as a kitchen top waste container for organic waste. (Photo: Manoh Verma/HT)
Wicker baskets that can double up as a kitchen top waste container for organic waste. (Photo: Manoh Verma/HT)

Culinary-based handicrafts such as products made out of leftover khajoor (date palm), wicker baskets, and cooking and serving vessels made of ceramic and metals are available in plenty. Ram Rati, a National Award-winning ceramicist from Delhi’s Kumhar Gram, says, “We have brought utensils made in terracotta and ceramic to the bazaar. Ranging from the most basic cups in clay to high-end copper oxide glazed ceramics, we have it all on display. We hope people come and buy a lot from us, since we are again looking at uncertain times ahead.”

The theme of the haat also stresses on the importance of sustaining both craft and farmer livelihoods, in a world that imperils them via the climate crisis. From tableware to table linen, and baskets to brassware, there’s a lot at this crafts bazaar. “We try to create items for modern homes via natural material,” says Sukanta Das, from an NGO participating in the event, adding, “We’ve basketry and tableware from crafts communities of Odisha, West Bengal, UP and Kashmir. People are liking our table mats in Sabaii grass weave, created by rural women of Odisha. The wicker baskets, which can be used as kitchen waste top containers, are also being liked a lot by the visitors.”

Terracotta holders and toys are quite a cute takeaway from this bazaar. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Terracotta holders and toys are quite a cute takeaway from this bazaar. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Checking out the terracotta and ceramic products, visitors can also interact with the karigars from Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Gujarat. And don’t forget to explore the huge range of textiles including Ikat print from Andhra Pradesh, Ajrakh prints from Gujarat, and block printed textiles from Rajasthan.

Catch It Live

What: 36th Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar

Where: Dilli Haat, INA

On till: January 15

Timing: 10.30am to 8pm

Nearest Metro Station: Dilli Haat INA on Yellow and Pink Lines

Author tweets @siddhijainn

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